Mark 11:25 “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
When something is essential, you are saying that it is absolutely necessary for something to happen. When you think of prayer, there are essentials to getting your prayers answered. Let’s face it, we all want our prayers answered and we all need our prayers answered. However, if we don't have the essentials it takes for prayers to be answered, we are wasting our time in prayer.
Jesus used the opportunity of the withered fig tree to teach His disciples the essentials for answered prayer. He saw the fig tree in the morning with no fruit and cursed it. The next day as they passed by the fig tree it was withered and dead. The disciples were amazed at how this happened, and it was at this moment that Jesus taught them the four essentials for answering prayers. Let me share these essentials with you.
First, it takes a need greater than your ability. In verse 23, Jesus talked about the need for a mountain to be moved. No human is able to move a mountain on their own, and that is why we need God. You must understand that every prayer is a mountain that you cannot move, a need that is greater than you that only God can do. When you realize that God is the answer to every need is when you will begin to pray with fervency. You may not be able to move the mountain in your life, but God has given you the wherewithal to move that mountain through prayer. Don't let the mountain stop you; go to God in prayer so it can be moved.
Second, it takes faith in God. Jesus told the disciples in verse 22, “Have faith in God.” You don't have to have faith in your abilities to get prayers answered; you have to have faith in God for them to be answered. The fact that you are going to God in prayer reveals that you don't have faith in your abilities, but you must have faith that God has the power to answer your prayer if it is going to get answered. It is fruitless to pray if you don't have faith that God can answer your prayer. A faith in God’s power to answer prayer is essential to your mountain of need being removed by God.
Third, you must believe. Jesus said in verse 24, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them…” The power of belief is that it will cause you to move in faith towards what you are praying about. You don't have to see the answer to move forward; you must have the belief in God that He will answer to move forward. This is one of the great keys of answered prayer. The fact that you believe in God enough to move forward without His answer proves to God that you believe He will come through. God has never let one believer down who has moved forward in faith because they believed He would answer at the necessary time. Until God answers, you must believe Him and move forward with the next step you can take.
Fourth, you must forgive. This is an interesting essential because many do not look at this as an essential for answered prayer. In verse 25, Jesus commands you to forgive when you pray so that the Father will forgive you. What is the purpose of the Father forgiving you? The purpose is so that He will answer your prayer. The lack of forgiveness has kept many prayers from being answered. My friend, don't let your grudge keep you from seeing mountains move in your life.