Fresh Hope – 17th August 2017

Mark 11:24-25 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.’

I read these verses 40 years ago. At that exact moment I decided that if God were God and the Bible true, then I would dare to believe what was said.

I started out by taking tiny steps of faith. In fact it seems almost nothing now, but I well remember asking God to supply my need of £5! It was a seemingly small step, but it was a very real need to me then. I re-read the Bible verse again to check that I’d read it correctly and yes…I was to ask, believe and then receive.

That day, I simply brought my need to God and then thanked Him for providing my need. Within a day or so, I was holding my answer to prayer in my hand. An old couple that I visited that day called me back as I was leaving their house and insisted on giving me a £5 note. My faith grew stronger and I started to trust God for more. Faith is just like a muscle; it has to be used and stretched in order to grow stronger.

I didn’t realise that all those years ago that I would be called upon by God to trust Him for so much more. The next challenge was to trust Him for thousands, and then hundreds of thousands, and today as I write, I have been privileged to be able to trust Him for millions. Please understand, that none of this was to line my own pockets; I was simply to believe so that the finance could flow to me so that it could flow through me.

If you’ve never believed that God is able to provide for you and through you then make a decision to start right now.

I find that having specific prayer targets is the most helpful thing that I’ve ever done in helping me to pray. I write things in a prayer diary and will pray for them each week until I see the answer. On some occasions, I’ve prayed for more than four years for something before seeing an answer. The key is to never give up.

Right now I have a prayer list of more than 35 items on it. Each one is broughy to God in prayer on a regular basis. Sometimes daily and sometimes weekly.

The list contains people’s names, impossible situations, my children and grandchildren, my church and even myself. I pray about specific things and never leave things to just vague requests. Right now I’m trusting God (again) for a million pounds so that we can move forward in building the children’s annexe at the church.

I find that most people run out of things to say after they’ve prayed for a few minutes. That’s usually because they haven’t started to make lists of requests in order to bring them to God each day.

Always remember that the biggest reason for unanswered prayer is un-prayed prayer.

Start to make your list of requests today. You may only have one or two things to ask for right now, but that list will soon grow and before long you’ll be praying for 20 minutes and more.

Unsure as to whether you should ask?

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Pastor Mark

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