Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | June 23, 2015

June 23, 2015 “Definite Prayer”

“Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” (Mark 11: 23-24)

“All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37)

Good morning everyone!

When I was a student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary back in the 1970’s, one of my professors was a man named John Gerstner. So compelling and persuasive a man was he that it was once said of him after a lecture, “That Dr. Gerstner could sell sweat to a ditch digger.” He was a true Christian apologist in every sense of the word. One of the stories told of him concerned a time a couple decided they wanted their newborn child baptized. They requested that Dr. Gerstner use a white rose to administer the sacrament by dipping the rose in the water and touching the baby’s head with the water-covered rose. When he asked them why they wanted to use a white rose, they responded that it was to “signify the purity of the child.” His response was typically blunt as well as definitive. He said, “if the child is pure, then why baptize him at all?” 

All too often, there is a lack of understanding when it comes to a definitive articulation of Christianity. People play around the edges of Biblical interpretation, trying hard to make the Word fit one’s particular viewpoint and have it conform to that rather than to have their viewpoint come in line with that which scripture clearly and definitively declares. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus speaks of the importance of being definitive in our thoughts, words, and deeds. He teaches us, “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”  

Being definitive in prayer is also something taught to us by our Lord. In Mark’s gospel, he teaches us to be specific when we pray. If we need a mountain moved, we should pray for the mountain to be moved, believing that there is nothing to great for God to accomplish. Dwight L Moody once wrote,

“I believe in definite prayer. Abraham prayed for Sodom. Moses interceded for the children of Israel. How often our prayers go all around the world, without real definite asking for anything! And often, when we do ask, we don’t expect anything. Many people would be surprised if God did answer their prayers.”

When you pray for that metaphorical “mountain” in your life to be moved, do you really believe God can and will move it? Or do you try to get around the issue by praying with a lack of specificity. Pray believing. Pray boldly. Make your requests known. Be definitive. Let your “Yes” be yes and your “No” be no. The other stuff, Jesus says, comes from the deceiver, who delights in bringing doubt and despair into our hearts and minds. Today as we pray, let’s pray believing and definitive. Let’s pray!

Mighty Lord; I believe You are the Risen Lord, the victor over sin and death itself…my Lord and my God. I believe that there is no mountain you cannot move, no ocean you cannot span, now power you cannot overcome. Fill my heart and mind with new trust in Your glorious promises, that I may pray with holy boldness in every aspect of my life, for I pray it in the Name which is above every name…Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen!

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