Day 5 – Ask, Believe, & Forgive

Mark 11:24-25
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

“The disciples, watching in amazement, learn another lesson as well. They will be faced with ‘this mountain’—the mountain where the Temple sits, ruled over by the hard-hearted chief priests—in the days to come. They will need to have faith that God will overthrow the system and all that it represents. The lesson goes wider, in line with Jesus’ repeated teaching about prayer and faith. Ask; believe; and it will happen. But remember: while asking, forgive (verse 25). The door that opens to let forgiveness out of your heart towards someone else is the door through which God’s forgiveness will enter.” (NT Wright, Lent For Everyone: Mark, p.119)

“Jesus, through his death, resurrection, and ascension, moved the mountains of sin, of death, of condemnation, of judgment, of fruitlessness, of powerlessness, of unforgiveness. In doing so, it has been given to us to bear the fruit of living in this reality and to share with others the invitation to do so as well.” (Anne Kim)

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for removing the mountains of our sin, fruitlessness, and unforgiveness. Today, by your Spirit’s power, we will ask, believe, and forgive. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship Jesus with “Believe For It” by CeCe Winans (click here)

– JL


Day 4 – A New Praying Community

Mark 11:20-23 (NIV)
In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.

“Jesus expected [the temple] to be a house of prayer for all nations, though he went on to predict its destruction. In his explanation of the fig tree’s withering, Jesus envisioned a future without a temple. But its demise would not bring an end to effective prayer; ‘there will be a new praying community.’” (David Garland, Mark (NIVAC), p.448)

“The work of Jesus can continue through the disciples because they are to have faith in God the same way Jesus had faith in doing all the miracles, signs and wonders he performed. And through Jesus’ death and resurrection, the knowing of the Father and asking in prayer in Jesus’ name becomes available to us.” (Anne Kim)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, as your Spirit indwells and empowers us, we will be your believing and praying community. In your name, we cry out and ask for your salvation, healing, and redemption for our cities and campuses. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing unto the Lord with “Mighty God” by Elevation Worship (click here)

– JL



Day 3 – Time’s Up!

Mark 11:15-17 NIV
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’

“As the fig tree’s time is barren, so is the temple’s. Time can run out for fruitless trees and prayerless temples…The locus of salvation now shifts from the temple to Jesus and his death and resurrection. Faith in him will become the way to God, not the sacrifice of animals in the temple. Thus when Jesus dies, the curtain of the temple is torn from top to bottom.” (David Garland, Mark (NIVAC), p.440)

“Jesus was not merely clearing or cleansing the temple, Jesus was condemning it just as he had done with the fig tree…There would no longer be a need for the temple as Jesus will become the sacrifice through which salvation would come to the people.” (Anne Kim)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for being the once-for-all sacrifice for our salvation. By your grace, we draw near and bless your name. Be worshiped O God, through our every word, thought, and action today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship the Lord with “The Wonderful Cross” sung by Shane & Shane (click here).

– JL



Day Two – The Divine Mandate

Mark 11:12-14 NIV
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.

“Fruitfulness is a divine mandate… Jesus deliberately chooses a fig tree out of season so the disciples would recognize his symbolic purpose: to depict God’s absolute demand for fruitfulness in every season.” (Grant Osborne, Mark, Kindle loc. 5304)

“When we say God’s mandate for us is to be fruitful, it is a commission to bear fruit, but it also comes with the authority to do so… As Christians, we do, and should all desire to see the evidence of our faith through the good fruit revealed from our lives as it goes from the individual/private to the corporate/public realms. Good fruit shown in our character, in our relationships, in our households, in our ministries, and in the church.” (Adapted from Anne Kim’s message)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for creating us anew in Christ Jesus to bear the fruit of our salvation in every season. Wherever fruit has not been abundantly evident, we humbly turn and receive your commission and authority to live transformed in your purposes. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship Jesus with “I Speak Jesus” by Charity Gayle (click here)

– JL


Day One – Faith and Fruitfulness

Let’s read and pray aloud the following together:

Psalm 1:1-3 NRSVUE
Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked
    or take the path that sinners tread
    or sit in the seat of scoffers,
but their delight is in the law of the LORD,
    and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees planted by streams of water,
    which yield their fruit in its season,
    and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
Psalm 92:12-15 NIV
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the LORD,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, “The LORD is upright;
    he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
Mark 11:22-23 NIV
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, awaken our hearts afresh by the power of your Spirit to the calling you have for each of us – to live spiritually worthwhile lives full of faith and fruitfulness. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Let’s worship the Lord with “No Longer I” by Matt Redman (click here).

– JL