Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you HAVE received it


This is a series of posts…


This is a story about some aspects of my journey over the last few years. Don’t gloss over this post, as it contains what I consider to be significant breakthrough that will help anyone progress in their Christian walk. The fruit is there for all to see in my life.

I’m not perfect, but I’ve come a long way and this post explains the major milestones of my journey in the last few years.

Learning to break darkness through Jesus Christ

Going back to around 2007 God was showing me various scriptures. He gave me great insight into what Jesus Christ did on the cross and in His resurrection to the right hand of God. I wrote many posts about this process of discovery on this blog.

During that time I had the pleasure of seeing great miracles in Australia and in various countries and situations around the world. Most of that is documented on this blog too. I am delighted by how God used me and all the fun stuff I got to be involved in.

But the thing is, despite having a very clear understanding of how to practically break darkness and see it manifestly retreat from a physical location and out of a person’s life, I was not prospering and living an abundant life. I had assumed that would naturally happen. But it wasn’t.

For others too!

I met people and showed them how to speak out the truth of what Jesus Christ has done for them and then when speaking to them later I’d find out that darkness had retreated from them completely. But they still struggled in other areas, for example with a lack of income. The darkness was broken but blessing had not come to them. I could not understand it, but I persisted.

Let me clarify that again so it’s 100% clear what we are investigating.

By believing what the bible says Jesus did for me, the darkness had fled from me. I was sleeping well. My dreams became enjoyable, sometimes I even woke up laughing. Oppression was completely defeated. Any spiritual warfare I got into I would win very very easily. My own personal addictions were decreasing rapidly. And yet… in Australia my business failed and I lost my visa to be in Australia and I lost my pets, my loved ones and many other people (and hopes) that I held dear.

Let me say it again, darkness had been broken through Jesus Christ on the cross, there was no doubt about that. But I personally was not flourishing. Where was the abundant life? It was nowhere to be seen!

I stuck at it!

Now… if you have been a regular reader over the years, you know I am stubborn when it comes to God and Jesus Christ… you know I don’t give up when God has said something. So… during the last two years (2009-2011) I just kept hammering away at those scriptures despite me running out of everything and often having nothing.

I pressed into the things Paul spoke about, such as…

  • To count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
  • To count all things as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him,
  • To have a righteousness that comes through faith in Christ,
  • To know him and the power of his resurrection
  • To attain the resurrection from the dead (here in this life, already)
  • To press on to make these things my own
  • To forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead
  • To press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God IN Christ Jesus

Then one day…

Then one day, in a prayer session God told me to ask for something for a friend of mine who was having a hard time. She makes toadstool chairs. So I asked for some things for her, and she got them right away! But somehow I just couldn’t apply that to me. Perhaps I thought it was not for me. Or perhaps… to be honest… I really don’t know why I could not just ask and believe.

I was intensely believing these other scriptures, but I somehow did not see the way for me to believe for things for myself. So I kept believing those scriptures that God had shown me.

I was relentless. And yet I went through such barrenness. My income was sporadic at best. I often ate bread with spread or toast and tomatoes. We only had hot water for one hour every two days. These last two years were awful from that perspective. Before that I had gone from having so much money that I could bless many people, to having almost none or at times none.

Why wasn’t it working?

I couldn’t understand it… I was spending SO MUCH time in prayer, I was SO dedicated, I was seeing such great things happen, God was SO real to me… He showed me His heart… He changed me right around. My journals are full of God’s words to me. People prophesied to me.

But still… where was the abundance? Jesus Christ came to give us life and life abundantly, right? But I just couldn’t seem to grab hold of all that He had for me. And yet I was convinced…

the LORD is upright and faithful to His promises: He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. – Psa 92:15 (AMP)

As a side note… I think my stubbornness (to struggle with a problem over many YEARS until I master it and am able to teach it to others so that it works for them) is very typical of people with my gifting. We hear from God and then we cannot and will not deviate. And I guess my dedication probably can also drive other people crazy. I prefer to suffer for years rather than give up and not get my inheritance. Hehehe.

But anyway… back to the story… I was very confused. So much dedication, so much prayer, so much believing what Jesus Christ has done for me. And nada, no income. My shoes ran out. I lost weight and walked around in clothing that was 4 sizes too big for me.

Learning to have a different kind of faith

Then earlier this year God began to prepare me to move from my home. And He told me that September was going to be a big month. And indeed it has been if you look at the world stage. But also for me too. And much more recently He gave me a dream in which I was forced from the place I was staying. And lo and behold I was forced out from there, quite suddenly, on a Saturday night.

So picture this… I was out, with a single bag, a blanket and no money at all. I had a phone, but no airtime (credit). What would I do? I had no option but to ask God for what I needed. And then the scripture “believe you have received” (Mark 11:24) came to mind.

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

And so… I decided to believe that I had received.

There are other verses that back this up. For example: faith is the SUBSTANCE of the things hoped for. And walk by faith not by SIGHT (what you can see). Jesus Christ said “be of good cheer I HAVE MADE the world safe for you”. And in Revelations He said “I HAVE made all things new”. And Matt 21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

NOTE: There is some fine print to all of this. God is not an impersonal vending machine. I cover those issues later in this post.

I was well aware of these scriptures, but I had never made the shift to actually believing in this way.

So I sat on a bench and wondered what my choices were. After a while I decided to pass time watching some rugby in a public spot. Then while doing that I decided to go visit a friend. And after a while that friend invited me to stay with him for a few days. I kept believing, but not so much, because my needs were being met. Sort of. Then that ended after a few days. I met with the church pastor, but that was not fruitful in terms of me getting significant help.

So I kept on praying and believing. Then I had to move out of where I was staying. Again I was on a sidewalk and the  on a bench, wondering what to do. I prayed, asking for help and I decided to believe I had a place. And another friend took me in, on her couch. This time I was there for a week.

A new style of prayer emerges

By now my style of praying had begun to change, I was doing a lot more believing. On that couch I began to declare with determination that I HAD received.

Again that place ended and I was outside again. I stored my stuff behind a wall where people hang their washing… and I wondered what I would do. I had posted a request to FB for prayer as a last resort about 2 nights before. Out of almost 600 friends, no one had come through for me. Despite my situation, I defiantly declared that I believed I HAVE received.

Literally at that moment I got a text message from a friend I had not heard from in a long while. So I went to visit that friend. We patched up some things, and that was God’s grace right there! She told me that I had come to mind a few times so she sent me the message. Cool… God was now moving behind the scenes.

I popped out and went to someone else who I thought might be able to put me up. He said he didn’t think his wife would agree… I was down hearted. Where was I going to stay that night? Sunset was 2 or 3 hours away.

Fighting back the discouragement and possible tears, I defiantly declared that I believed that I HAD received what I was asking for, because God keeps His promises!

I was quite specific about what I wanted. A warm place. A safe place. A friendly, relational place. And at that moment while walking along, holding back tears and mild panic, defiantly declaring God’s goodness and that I HAD received… a text message came through. “Do you have a place?” I replied no. And he invited me to stay with him for a few days.

Yikes! Awesome!

A trend emerges

So I went back to my friend, and she offered to lift me to my new digs. God was providing right before my eyes. So I asked her… when did she decide to contact me and why? She told me, and it turned out that God brought me to her mind just as I was believing Him. I was seeing a trend! When I moved into my new temporary digs I again asked them, how did they come to ask me if I needed a place? And again, God brought me to mind just ask I was believing Him.

I began to see a pattern.

“For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. – 2 Chron 16:9 NASB

Quite literally, at the times that I believed His words, that I placed my trust in Him, that I believed His provision was absolutely so certain that I could see it with eyes of determined faith… at those times He was speaking to people and bringing me to mind and creating a way where there was no way.

Believing I HAVE received

So now, safely ensconced in my new digs I began to see blessing happening. Small stuff that has not happened in years begins to happen. So I kept believing I have received… and wouldn’t you know it, I got a message from an absolutely unexpected person who invited me to stay with his family – for more than a month.

Again, when I got there I asked them how this came about, and again it was just as I was believing that I had received from Jesus Christ – my “husband” – that God was prompting them to find out how I was and they saw on my FB wall that I needed assistance.

Time and again, from when when I first believed for that friend of mine who makes the toadstools, right through to now – today – I am astonished at how God moves when I believe Him.

I broadened my requests

So… with evidence like that… I broadened the things I asked for and believed I HAVE received! Who wouldn’t? :)

These days I have been believing for a healthy body. Do you know that the moment I began to believe that I HAVE received a healthy body from Jesus Christ’s provision on the cross, that same day I went from someone who struggled to say no to yummy food, which is in ABUNDANCE here, to someone who can happily have 2 Tim Tams waved in his face and say no thanks. Now THAT is a miracle my friends!!!  :)

And just today I was believing that God HAS made me whole, inside and out, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and tonight as we drove in the car I suddenly had insight into my failed marriage from 10+ years ago… and I saw in such clarity and depth… and I went in a moment from a feeling of repressed hatred (which I had to face up to earlier this year) through to complete forgiveness. In less than a minute all that was washed away and with NO pain at all. I cannot express to you the clarity I have towards her now.

And the story goes on… I decided to believe that Jesus Christ HAS given me a specific amount of money. Do you know that in the whole of last year I have not earned as much as I have earned in the last 3 weeks? I even went shopping the other day!  :)

What if I am believing about the wrong thing?

I am currently believing that I HAVE received in 5 areas. If I am wrong about any of them, I know that He will tell me, I will feel His prompting. Instead, when I began to believe that He HAS made me healed – and I’m specifically referring to being overweight – I heard Him audibly speak to me “this is My will”. So, rather than hearing Him discourage me at all, instead I’m hearing encouragement!

But still… what IF I’m wrong, or asking out of wrong motives? Well… even if I am wrong about some of these things, the good news is He doesn’t give bad gifts…

Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent? – Matt 7:10 AMP

Most of God’s work is unseen

I know now from all these stories that as I believe, God is working in unseen ways. I know, because when the thing comes, I ask the person or people involved and they tell me how God prompted them.

I have it clearly in my head now… when I ask and believe that He HAS provided… then His work occurs where I can’t see it. It’s like a root system, most of the initial work is underground, out of sight.

I am believing for 5 things and in two of them I have not yet seen any visible movement above the ground.

But I won’t doubt. By the time I can see it in my hands, God has done a lot of work unseen by me :)

And I like it this way. I can relax. Trust. Wait.

Different kinds of prayer

Over time I have come to realize that there are different kinds of prayer.

Intercession is what I was doing and it’s not relational, it’s declaring the truth and being rather like a policeman. You don’t make the laws, you just enforce them. When we intercede we simply enforce the truth, the words of God, with the sword of our mouth.

Pushing darkness back was simply enforcing what happened on the cross. But now I needed to have a different kind of prayer. It’s more personal, more relational. It can be deeply understood when we consider the kind of relationship that God wants between a man and a woman in marriage. It’s the same from Jesus Christ, He wants His bride to trust Him to do what He says He will do. Selah.

Different kinds of faith

I also once heard a teaching that there are different kinds of faith. For example: at one time Jesus said He could see that the man “had the faith to be healed”. Another scripture speaks about “saving faith”. I have also heard of “overcoming faith”.

I had grown in the kind of faith that accepts what Jesus Christ did on the cross. Now I had to grow in a kind of faith which is more relational. I had to ask and receive from God.

Thanks for reading

Although this is a very long post, I hope this has helped someone in some way.  :)

Please share this post with someone who is searching, or someone who needs to see their life and their potential in a whole new light – as an overcoming victory through Jesus Christ. May God bless you – and I look forward to reading your comments and replying to them!

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31 responses to “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you HAVE received it

  1. Good day Mark,
    I thank GOD that I stumbled on your story. I used to have a job (executive) that paid a high salary, driving big cars and eating out every month. AND Suddenly moved from about ZAR 1 Million salary down to ZAR 0.00. Opened a business and my bank sent a letter stating that I owe bank charges and will close my account because its inactive. My debts are running at about ZAR 1 Million. When I tried to send CV’s it was as if I was throwing them into a rubbish bin. Any business deals just would not flourish. I was forced to sell our house because one would have (possibly) lost it on foreclosure. I am a father and a husband. We have been the only ones without water and electricity in our neighbourhood. Had to teach my children how to cook with firewood. This is just a summary.

    BUT YOU KNOW IN ALL THIS, we (my wife and I) never stopped believing, praising and worshiping our CREATOR FATHER JEHOVAH GOD. We have never stopped believing in HIS Son JESUS CHRIST who became poor so that we can be rich, who was wounded for our transgressions, who came to set us free from the bondage, who came to reveal the truth to us. OH how wonderful the holly spirit that works in us!!!

    AT THE PRESENT moment we have to move out of the house we have sold as the transfer process has been concluded. I KNOW that as Mark 11:23-24 states, we are moving to a better and beautiful home which is evidence of the glory of GOD. What I like about GODs things, he adds no sorrow, our new home is built and paid in full (I unreservedly and with unwavering faith believe that it is so.)

    Thank you, I will share my testimony and Whatsapp you as well.

  2. Dear Mark … Wherever you are… Your story was so long that I didn’t think I’d have time to read it but, of course, I did & you have with God’s help, overcome the obstacles in your path to Him. It’s an inspiration but you certainly seem back in alignment.
    As for me, My tv has broken down recently but I realised that it happened so that I might re-centre myself. I’ve been googling the lesson of the day from A Course in Miracles (I’m in Oz .. So today’s lesson is No 67) and I’ve been re-listening to “The Secret” when that internal bell rang … That whatsoever you ask for in prayer, BELIEVE … That you’ve received it! When I think of the times I’ve said Novenas as “a good Catholic girl” ie 9 hours or 9 days asking for the same thing … And waiting for an answer! . When I only had to ask once & my request was granted!
    This past week really clarified that for me … the penny dropped, when, faced with a difficulty, praying about & dealing with it in the only way that came to me, I received an SMS which simply said “joy”. Since it came through from a friend’s mobile and I had not discussed any of my thoughts with her, it seemed quite odd that she would send me this one word SMS. So I asked her later in the day whether she had sent me an SMS with one word and she said “no”. I then told her that it had come from her mobile. She’s a very practical gal and she said it was weird. Later in the day she also added that it was ‘strange’. I let it go at that because I knew it was a positive answer to my prayer & I knew she might not accept my explanations. God does move in mysterious ways &
    I shall now once again believe, as I did as a child, that whatever I ask for in prayer, It is on its way to me. it is mine.
    Thank you, Mark. God bless you! In the Secret, they say that many never bless another except when they sneeze … Let’s bless everyone who comes into our lives,

    from “Sam”

  3. EWEEEEEEEEE GOD IS SO FAITHFUL!!! TEARS THANKS FOR NOW I MUST BELIEVE I HAVE RECEIVED FROM THE MOMENT I PRAY AMEN!!!

  4. I have a question, So when you asked God to heal you, you believed that you were healed in that moment? and did you only asked him once? Or did you keep praying, asking, and believing you were healed? Until you were healed.

  5. Yes, what a blessing, Praise G-d. Blessings to you Mark, I’m glad it was revealed to you and now to me. Bless G-d.

  6. hey , this is a great testimony, Praise G-d thank G-d i was led here. I could relate, The L-Rd is so good, Bless His Holy Name.

  7. Good morning really felt led to read this and yes is such a parallel to my own heart’s struggle . Many of the scriptures are those that i have been given . So today am going to believe that i have received all that God wants to give .

  8. hi Mark,
    off late, i have been going through a very low ebb of my life, and i dont know today somehow god led me to read this testimony of yours… and I must tell you that it has really touched me very much. You have gone through so much and yet kept faith and the almighty god has carried you and helped you to sail through the rough tides of life… and I know the almighty god will help me too, to cross the Jordan of my life… thanks for putting up your testimony and god bless you.

    • Hi Luiza

      Thank you so much for sharing your testimony with me. He will help you, that is for certain. I feel confident that He is with you, guiding you to a deeper understanding of HIm and His ways. What He deeply wants is to be BELIEVED. And that’s the heart of this post… to believe Him, to believe what He said about Jesus Christ.

      God bless you,
      Mark.

  9. Pingback: Prayer & Preparation Power « BibleOpia Blog·

  10. Wow! What an awesome testimony! I have only recently joined and find your posts enlightning and encouraging!!
    Thank you sooo much for just affirming the importance of believing that I HAVE received!!

  11. Wow Mark!!! That was encouraging to read about you standing in faith. It is soo easy to say` well have faith`~ but it is a whole other story to went through it as you did and I believe stil is doing! God will honor your faith and when you believe it will come to pass!! The last 19years my late husband and me went through this testing…. time after time there were no work and we had to do our own thing just to life. We believed God for everything… It was not easy and we had to trust God sometimes untIll nr 99. God will make a way my friend even if it seems there is no way. Thank you for sharing, and be sure of my prayers for you!
    Susan

  12. Your life has been well spent. You’ve used your experience of plenty to nothing to reach out to others. You would not have had the empathy you have now had it not been for all the experiences you’ve gained in life. The more I read the Bible the more I realise that this life is not about how intelectual we become or how wealthy we are, because when we die we don’t take our wisdom or wealth with us. Solomon explains it so well in Ecclesiastes. This life, rich or poor, is just a stepping stone to the life we are being prepared for in heaven. This life is tough and God never promised it would be easy. He did however promise he would be our safety net in this life. But what he wants us to do, is focus on getting through this life and into the next, where all our hearts desires will be granted in abundance. God didn’t make these things happen to you, but he allowed them to, for whatever reason he had. And now he’s using your personal experience to reach out to others. And that’s an incredible priviledge. And I loved how you were honest enough to admit that there were times where you were ready to give up. But you didn’t. And things may or may not get better going forward, financially that is. Who knows what God’s bigger picture plan for you is. But man, the fact that he, God Almighty, heard your prayers, answered them, placed thoughts in peoples mind to contact you, shows that God is paying very special attention to you. God uses the humble, the simple, the poor, the needy to spread his message of love, grace, forgiveness and eternal life. That way we can’t take the credit for his awesome miracles. So my friend, God has seen it fit to use you. You are indeed in a very blessed being for God to have chosen you. And sharing your personal experiences with the world through this blog is just so humbling and encouraging to all of us out there in the world. We who are priviledged enough to have an income and a home have faith now, but who knows how strong our faith will be the day we lose everything. And that as you know can happen overnight. So our faith hasn’t been tested yet, we don’t know if we’re going to pass the test of our faith. But you my friend already have. You’re closer to salvation than we are. God has chosen you, not us, to speak on his behalf. Because of who you are, and what you’ve experienced. Talk is cheap, but you talk from experience. It’s one thing reading in the Bible that God answeres prayers, it’s another actually reading the experience of someone who’s prayers God has answered. You’re touching lives. And you are indeed blessed of mankind.

    • Wow. Thank you Shane. That’s all I can say. Really, thank you. You have chosen to see the best in this.

      I really appreciate your encouragement.

      God bless you bro,
      Mark.

  13. When I opened the link to this page I was very suspicious of what I was about to read. There seems to be a new wave of faith I call “get rich quick with Jesus” that I fervently appose. I believe God provides for our needs, not our luxuries. God has no problem with riches but that’s not what he promises us when he says he will provide for our needs. But then I started reading your humble experience and how God truly provided for your ‘needs’. And it was encouraging to read how your personal faith increased through each answered prayer. We all fear to be where you were, not knowing if our own faith will be strong enough. It’s easy to have faith in times of plenty, who knows how strong our faith will be when all of that is taken away. Dare I say you were privileged to have your faith tested in this way? I enjoy reading your humble approach to things and insight. You may not be blessed with many riches but you are certainly blessed with wisdom and with an incredible relationship with God. My prayer for you is that God will continue providing for all your needs, and more.

    • Hello. Thank you for leaving your comment, and thank you for your honesty and for taking the time to encourage me. I’m sorry you didn’t leave your name or email, because if you had, you will be notified of my reply to you.

      I do want stuff, I do want healthy love and to have a full life. But I don’t want it the world’s way, I’ve had a lot of money a few years ago. I don’t want that any more, I want what God promises us.

      And through Jesus Christ, if He gives me oodles, then that’s fine too. When Jesus fed the 5,000 there was SO MUCH left over! When He made wine for the marriage – His first miracle – He made FAR too much wine! He really does do things in abundance, it’s not just for our needs.

      But right now as I enter into the promised land, but before I’m actual IN there and blessed and settled… on the journey in, in the eye’s of the world my walk seems silly and even crazy. Why struggle for 2 years? Why not just give up on God’s promises and go the easy route?

      Even in the eyes of some church people I think it’s the same view.

      But when I come to a breakthrough like this and I find a scriptural solution to the needs that so many people – me included! – and I see people experiencing freedom and release, then I am satisfied, because I know that you and others will read this and gain insight into how YOU can get out of where you might find yourself.

      Sometimes… looking back on my life I definitely wonder if it was a life well spent. I have been through so much. But you know, when I see lives being turned around, and when I see people healing and growing and finding love… then I feel like I have spent my time on this earth well.

      I hope that makes sense.

      God bless you,
      Mark.

  14. Mark, I haven’t read your whole blog yet, this was my point of entry.

    I’m really glad to hear your story/testimony here, its good to know you’re learning and growing in relationship with God. I think I’m taking something away from this blog entry, on believing – I know the only times I’ve been able to truly “change” (attitudes, beliefs, behaviours) its been when I’ve asked God and believed that He would do it in His timing.

    We’ll have to catch up on Facebook – would be good to talk :)

  15. Wow God speaks…. this ties in with a book I’ve just read by Joel Osteen called “it’s Your Time” – about asking and receiving….. and just when I’m wondering where it is, my eyes drop to the desk and it’s here in front of me under a piece of paper…. Another one of those Godly coincidences. Thank You Father for your affirming love.

    • Hi Jesusdied4us, thanks for your encouragement. For some reason your comment has brought a tear to my eyes. Im not sure why.

      God bless you :)

      (Make sure you look me up on FB)

  16. Wow, Mark! I have been wondering where you’ve been! I’m going to have to read and re-read this to make sure I fully understand what you’re saying about prayer. You have helped me in immeasurable ways on this blog. May God richly bless you, my friend!

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