Matthew 21:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 21:22, NIV: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.'"

Matthew 21:22, ESV: "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”"

Matthew 21:22, KJV: "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."

Matthew 21:22, NASB: "And whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive it all.'"

Matthew 21:22, NLT: "You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.'"

Matthew 21:22, CSB: "And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.""

What does Matthew 21:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus' statement to the disciples is a powerful promise, and it fits with what He has often said when healing the sick and afflicted and casting out demons (Matthew 9:22; 15:28). God cares deeply that His people trust Him and Him alone to do what they ask. God's power, of course, is limitless. Anything is possible for Him (Luke 1:37). Jesus has made it clear, though, that those who want God to use His power in a specific way must have deep confidence of His ability to do what they ask.

Jesus said something similar to the twelve earlier in Matthew, making it clear that this power was available to them only in and through Jesus Himself: "If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them" (Matthew 18:19–20).

It's important to recognize that this promise from Jesus to the disciples can be misunderstood or misused. He is not saying to them or to the believers to follow in the coming generations that we can demand whatever we want from God in whatever form or fashion we want it and He is required to give it to us. He is still God, and we remain His creatures and children through faith in Jesus.

Christ specifically tells the disciples they will receive anything they ask—but only if they have faith. This means trust in God and His power to do what He wants to do. It also means an alignment with the will of God—it does not mean using the Creator as a vending machine. It's noteworthy that these men, who heard Jesus make these promises (John 14:13–14), did not attempt grandiose, unnecessary miracles as part of their future ministry.

Part of asking "in faith" is trusting God to do what is most fitting with His purpose for us and the world. We can always be confident of God's power as well as His goodness to do what is best. The promise and the condition both need to be understood, and both still stand. Receiving powerful things from God starts with believing He is able, making the request, and being convinced that His response will be both capable and loving.