The Shocking Meaning Of Mark 11:24 (whatever you ask for in prayer…)

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24

This is an incredible promise that is seen in this verse. But we often miss what Jesus is actually saying in the meaning of Mark 11:24 because we ignore the context. 

Many rip this verse out of context and use it as proof that if we just have enough faith God will give us whatever we want. But that’s not the message of this passage, not even close. 

There is, however, a powerful lesson in the Mark 11:24 meaning that we shouldn’t ignore. If you take a few minutes to look at this verse with fresh eyes I think you will be encouraged by what you read. 

The Context Of Mark 11:24

In Mark chapter 11 Jesus and his disciples arrive in Jerusalem. It’s only one week before Jesus will be hung on the cross, time in his earthly ministry is running short. 

This final week starts on a high note as Jesus enters into the city being proclaimed King. People are waving palm branches and shouting “hosanna!” It’s an incredible moment (Mark 11:1-11). 

The next day Jesus and his disciples walk by a fig tree that isn’t producing fruit. Jesus curses the tree, and later it’s found to have withered and died. This tree represents Israel, God’s people, who by and large, had ceased producing fruit. They were supposed to be worshiping God and blessing people, but they were failing to do so. 

The disciples don’t always understand what Jesus is doing, so in Mark 11:22-26 Jesus explains. The cursed tree that is now dead is an object lesson about the results of fruitless faith. It shows the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders. 

Through this lesson Jesus is encouraging his disciples to bear fruit. 

And that’s what leads us to Mark 11:24; coming from this illustration we find these words. Let’s dive into the meaning of Mark 11:24 and see what Jesus is teaching us. 

The Meaning Of Mark 11:24 

To better understand what Jesus meant when he says “whatever you ask for in prayer” we are going to break down this verse into three sections. This will help us better understand the Mark 11:24 meaning.

Therefore I Tell You

Whenever you see a “therefore” you need to ask what it’s there for. Typically “therefore” is used to bridge what previously happened to draw a conclusion. The sentence that follows often carries with it some weight. 

In this case, Jesus is referring to the baron fig tree and encouraging his disciples to bear fruit. 

This is the pivotal part of Jesus teaching on how we can produce fruit in our lives. 

Whatever You Ask For In Prayer

Prayer has many facets and purposes. The context is what tells us what Jesus is talking about. The way that we produce fruit in our life is through connecting with the source of life. 

In John 15:1 we see Jesus tells us that he is the vine and we are the branches. The way a branch produces fruit is by receiving life from the vine. If a branch is cut off no fruit will grow. 

One of the primary ways that we can connect with God is through prayer. Apart from God we are incapable of producing anything of value. 

Jesus is encouraging the disciples to be dedicated to prayer so that they can be fruitful. 

For more about prayer check out: What Is Prayer? (7 Powerful Truths About Prayer)

Believe That You Have Received It And It Will Be Yours

Some take this passage as proof for a “name it and claim it” version of Christianity. All you need to do is ask and have faith, and God will give you whatever you want. But God isn’t a cosmic Santa granting our every wish. 

This belief has caused much damage to people’s faith and kept many away from Jesus.

The context of this promise is that of asking with the right intentions and within God’s will. In other words, when our hearts are aligned with his, God will answer our prayers. 

Remember Jesus’ teaching here is all about bearing fruit in our life. He’s promising that when we are asking to be fruitful and are within his will, our requests will be answered. 

How To Apply The Mark 11:24 Meaning To Your Everyday Life 

Now that we’ve looked at the meaning of Mark 11:24 I want to end by helping you apply it to your life. 

In this passage Jesus is offering both a challenge and an invitation. 

He’s challenging his disciples, and us today, to be fruitful. God has created each of us on purpose and for a purpose. And the challenge is for us to step into that story. To not settle for comfort, but to step into the calling he has placed on your life. 

Jesus is challenging his disciples, but he’s also inviting them. We don’t do this work alone, we do it with Jesus. He’s inviting us to participate with him in what he is doing. How do we do this? By connecting to the source. 

If you want to step into the story that God has for you, then you need to connect to the source AND stay connected. We will only bear fruit when we allow God to produce it in us. When we disconnect from him we will be like the fig tree: fruitless.

So, if you want to live out Mark 11:24 connect to the source of life and step into the calling that God has placed on your life. It won’t always be easy, but it will be meaningful. God will use you to do incredible things. 

For more about what this means check out: What Following Jesus REALLY Means (and 3 practical tips)

If you are looking for a resource to help you grow your faith I HIGHLY recommend Mark Moore’s books Core 52 and Quest 52. These simple 15 minute daily readings will help you connect with God and understand the Bible better. They are INCREDIBLE. Plus there’s kids/teen versions as well! 

Jeffery Curtis Poor
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