Mark 11:24 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

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

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

Mark 11:24, KJV: Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Mark 11:24, NASB: Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you.

Mark 11:24, NLT: I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours.

Mark 11:24, CSB: Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for--believe that you have received it and it will be yours.

What does Mark 11:24 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has killed a non-fig-bearing fig tree as an illustration of the coming destruction of a religious system which has stopped bearing spiritual fruit for those who worship God. He and the disciples are standing on the Mount of Olives. They are looking at the Temple Mount, where for generations Jews have brought sacrifices for their sins, in order to be right with God so He can hear their prayers.

A short time before, a rich young man had asked Jesus how to inherit eternal life (Mark 10:17–22). The old way—the temple way—was to obey the Law, and to atone by sacrifices. With Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, such ceremony is no longer needed. Belief, meaning humble trusting faith—the kind reflected in an attitude of forgiveness towards others (Mark 11:25)—is all we need to come before God. There is no longer a call for rituals performed in a sacred space with priests as middlemen (Hebrews 4:16). The disciples, however, aren't ready to abandon the temple and its trappings. They still see the grand cultural symbol, not the corruption underneath (Mark 13:1–2).

Jesus is not endorsing the modern Word of Faith movement. Nor is He suggesting that God operates as a cosmic vending machine, doling out wishes. Believing that God will answer our prayer is not a spell that we place on God so He must give us what we want. The context of the promise of prayer is God's ordained ministry, if we ask with the right intentions (James 4:1–3) and within God's will (1 John 5:14–15). The Bible promises "if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him" (James 1:5). If we pray for wisdom first, and ask in God's will, we will receive what we ask for. If we ask without wisdom, we won't ask according to His will, and have no reason to expect such a request to be granted.