Yesterday morning my mom came to my condo to visit for the first time. My mom and one of my daughters live together. In June, my mom (66yrs old) had her thyroid removed due to cancer. A month ago she had to take a radiation pill to complete the process.
To my surprise, my mom was able to make it up the stairs to our condo without stopping for rest or heavy breathing. It was truly the beginning indication of a greater work of grace that we were about to experience. During mom’s visit, my wife was baking a pumpkin in the oven in preparation to make a pie. My mom shared that since the radiation pill, she has lost her ability to taste food. She was advised that it could be a side effect (temporary or permanent). Not only could she not taste her food, but most of time there is a metallic taste in her mouth. Because of this side effect, she would forget to eat. My wife ended up giving her yogurt, which she confirmed she couldn’t taste. She also learned in recent weeks that she was diabetic.
This was the first time my mom had shared this with us, so we anointed her with oil and prayed. We spoke to her taste buds to be healed. We cursed the diabetes and commanded the healing virtue in the name of Jesus to remove that metal taste out of her mouth and for her to be able to enjoy food again. It was very simple direct prayer. My mom is not familiar with praying in faith on purpose.
Yesterday was also our daughter’s 21st birthday, so after she got off work, our family went to their place to bring cake & sorbet. As I was distributing the pieces of cake, my mom blurts out, “This cake is too sweet!” Realizing that she was healed, my wife turned to her and reminded her that we prayed for her that morning. My mom replied, “I hope it sticks”.
Two scriptures come to mind in response to yesterday’s healing. Well, not exactly two scriptures, because one of the scriptures is not in the Bible and the other is a passage of scriptures in the Bible. Let me first address the Biblical account of Jesus cursing the fig tree in Mark 11:12-24. This is a passage that has been one that the Lord has been impressing upon me for the past two weeks. What happened yesterday morning is similar to what happened in Mark 11:12-14.
[Mark 11:12-14 NKJV] 12 Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard [it].
Jesus cursed the fig tree. He spoke directly to the tree and cursed it by declaring that it should not produce fruit ever again. The tree did not show any outward sign of being affected. We know that because they kept on traveling to Jerusalem and no one in the group acknowledged any visible change. However, the next day, returning from Jerusalem, Peter realizes that something looks different on the road they traveled the day before.
[Mark 11:20-21 NKJV] 20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”
The authority used to curse the fig tree is the same authority we used to curse the effects of the radiation pill and diabetes. The point is that when we prayed in faith, that’s when the healing took place. It was not dependent upon seeing results. What we observed in the evening, was already enforced in the morning. We just didn’t have any outward sign. But the lesson from both situations is summed up in Jesus’ response in verse 22.
[Mark 11:22 NKJV] 22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.
This has been the theme that the Lord has been impressing on my heart for a couple of weeks regarding some trials that my family is currently facing. “Have faith in God” means to pray believing that when you pray you will receive.
[Mark 11:23-24 NKJV] 23 “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive [them], and you will have [them].
Jesus (The Word) is saying this to us today, just as much as He said it to them. We are under the same covenant in Him. He is not suggesting a theory but giving explanation to a confirmed event. And in addressing Peter’s discovery, He is teaching a pillar principle regarding the law of faith. In like manner, my wife and I stood on that principle for my mom’s situation apart from immediate outward persuasion.
[James 5:14-16 NKJV] 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess [your] trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
[John 6:63 NKJV] “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and [they] are life.
When we prayed we didn’t have to whoop and holler to be convinced that God would answer. The Greek word for “effective, fervent” is “energeō”. It is a word that explains why a righteous man has outward success in prayer. It is not describing performance of prayer. The emphasis would be inward realization of the praying person. That is the operative activity of earnestness that gets results. Jesus exhorts us to “have faith in God”.
[Hebrews 11:6 NKJV] But without faith [it is] impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Now earlier, I mentioned that there was another non-biblical scripture that applied to last night’s healing. This spirit behind this phrase is used by many who are immature in the faith or just plain unbelieving. It is a verse that is not found in God’s word but is often quoted in prayer circles and meetings, even amongst well-meaning Christians. As Pastor Rice Broocks of Every Nation humorously references, these verses and their many versions can be found in “the book of Hesitation”. I am referring to my mom’s comment, “I hope it sticks”.
That verse and many of its varied versions (“If it is God’s will”, “If you can do anything”, “If you find it in your heart to have mercy”, etc.) have crept out of the hearts and mouths of many people (including myself) when God was giving an object lesson on His will and the principles of faith. For four weeks, taste buds inoperative. With one prayer, operative. Is it God’s will to reverse or undo the works of the devil (1 John 3:8)? Certainly! Is prayer ineffective if we don’t see immediate results? Certainly not when it comes to prayer according to Jesus. So, what is the exhortation from the Spirit of the Lord in all of this? It is the principle taught by Jesus in Mark 11:24.
[Mark 11:24 NKJV] “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive [them], and you will have [them].
God personally has been dealing with me to apply the same principle that I use in healing to every aspect of my life. The same faith that you have in believing that you are saved is the same faith that is required to receive anything from God. You have to believe that you received them (permanently, not temporarily). And if that is basic level of faith unto salvation is shaky, then you let the spirit of this word replace the false verses in your heart.
[1John 5:13-15 NIV] 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.