“This is why I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for, have faith that you have received them, and you will have them.”—Mark 11:24, New World Translation.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”—Mark 11:24, English Standard Version.
Meaning of Mark 11:24
With these words, Jesus shows his followers how important it is for them to have strong faith in the power of prayer. He assures them that God not only listens to their prayers but also answers them. A person who sincerely prays in harmony with God’s will can be sure that what he is praying for will without fail come true. It is as if the prayer were already answered.
Jesus emphasizes the importance of praying in faith. He explains that the one praying should “not doubt in his heart” but should have “faith that what he says is going to happen.” (Mark 11:23) Why? Because those who doubt cannot “expect to receive anything from Jehovah.” a—James 1:5-8.
A person of faith prays on many occasions. (Luke 11:9, 10; Romans 12:12) In this way, he shows that he really needs what he is asking for and that he truly believes God can answer his prayer. Of course, he also accepts that God may choose to answer his prayer in a way other than what he anticipates and may do so at a time different from what he might expect.—Ephesians 3:20; Hebrews 11:6.
However, Jesus’ words do not mean that any person can expect to receive whatever he asks for in prayer to God. Jesus was talking to his followers, men of faith who were trying their best to worship Jehovah God acceptably. The Bible says that Jehovah listens only to prayers that are in harmony with his will. (1 John 5:14) He does not listen to the prayers of those who purposely ignore his standards and who do bad things without repenting. (Isaiah 1:15; Micah 3:4; John 9:31) To learn more about the prayers that God listens to, watch this short video.
Context of Mark 11:24
In the final days of his earthly ministry, Jesus discussed with his disciples the importance of showing strong faith in God. He reinforced this lesson by means of an illustration. While traveling to Jerusalem, he noticed a fig tree that had sprouted early leaves. However, the tree turned out to be fruitless, so Jesus cursed it. (Mark 11:12-14) The deceptive appearance of that tree illustrated how the ancient nation of Israel, appearing to worship God, actually showed a lack of faith. (Matthew 21:43) Soon after, the fig tree withered, which was an indication of what would soon happen to faithless Israel.—Mark 11:19-21.
In contrast, Jesus was convinced that his followers could develop the faith needed to overcome challenges and accomplish amazing things. (Mark 11:22, 23) Jesus’ advice on the topic of prayer was especially timely for his followers because their faith would soon be tested. They would have to cope with Jesus’ death and with increasing opposition to their ministry. (Luke 24:17-20; Acts 5:17, 18, 40) Today, Jesus’ followers can also overcome challenging circumstances when they demonstrate faith in God and in the power of prayer.—James 2:26.
Watch this short video to see an overview of the book of Mark.