Matthew 21:22


This verse says:

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

This does not seem to happen. Am I misunderstanding the verse, in reading it literally?


Jesus was not talking to individual Christians. God is not a vending machine.

Jesus had just caused the fig tree to wither. The fig tree represents Israel and the authority of the Law of Moses. Withering the fig tree was a sign that the temple authorities and chief priests would soon be removed. A new authority with Peter at it’s head would be established.

The new Church, Jesus’ authority on earth would get what it asks for in prayer. Jesus was talking to the leadership of his new Church and not to individual Christians.

God answers all prayer. Sometimes the answer is, “No.” Sometimes the answer is “Not now.” Sometimes the answer is, “Let’s change the subject. I want you to focus on something else instead.”



Again, the leaders of the Church were individuals.


Individuals come and go.



We need to ask in accord with God’s will. God always answers our prayers, but we need to be receptive to receiving his answer he sees fit to give. Jesus said, “If you believe…” Belief isn’t merely saying, “God can do anything therefore I’ll get whatever I want if I ask for it.” Rather, believing is aligning our hopes, desires, needs with God’s will. So, we should always, when asking for anything in prayer say, “According to you will, O Lord, and our soul’s good.”

St. James also cited this need to bow to God’s will when he wrote:

[3] You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

We need to ask without self-centered motives. Keeping our hearts centered in Christ will help us with this problem. We can also make our petitions through the intercession of Mary and the Saints. Because they never ask anything of God outside of his will nor for self-centered reasons since they are in heaven with him and cannot do otherwise, having been perfected in God’s love.


I think he says "whatsoever you ask for, believe , and it shall be yours.
Say you pray for healing for yourself or someone else. After you ask , you thank God that you hsve received, even before the healing manifests. It can take a while to manifest, but you should always thank God, after you ask… See John 11:40-44
Jesus thanks his heavenly Father, even before He calls Lazarus forth from the grave.
Our Lord puts a high value on faith and on gratitude.:slight_smile:


Well why would His teaching be recorded for all to read and for Holy Mother Church to interpret?


We have to pay attention to the audience whenever Jesus speaks in the Bible. We have to ask ourselves who his audience is. Is he speaking to the Apostles, “The Twelve”, the larger group of followers sometimes described as the “disciples”, to the Greeks, the Jews, the generic “crowds”? This gives us a hint as to the meaning of his message.

For example, Jesus said, “blessed are the poor in spirit” to the crowds. The crowd was symbolic of all mankind. This was a message to all of us. In contrast, Jesus spoke to the Apostles only at the last supper. He was speaking specifically to the leadership of his Church. This was a message to his Church, not to individual Christians.

There are certainly lessons in all of Jesus’ words which can be learned by all. I’m not saying that his words don’t apply to us because they were spoken only to the Apostles. I’m simply saying that we have to pay attention to Jesus’ audience in order to properly understand the meaning, that’s all.

I didn’t make this up. This is sound Biblical interpretation used for 2000 years. It isn’t something I pulled out of thin air.

Again, “If you ask for anything in prayer it will be granted” was not intended to mean that anyone can just ask for whatever they want and God will give it to them. Jesus’s audience was the leadership of his Church. That gives us a clue as to it’s proper meaning. He is talking about God’s providence and guidance for the Church.



James 4:3 You ask, and receive not; because you ask amiss: that you may consume it on your concupiscences.

When prayers are seemingly not answered, it is not a matter of God, but of us.


The reasons why so many do not obtain the effects of their prayers, are,—1st. Because they ask for what is evil; and he that makes such a request, offers the Almighty an intolerable injury by wishing to make him, as it were, the author of evil: 2nd. Although what they ask be not evil, they seek it for an evil end. (St. James iv.): 3rd. Because they who pray, are themselves wicked; (St. John ix.) for God doth not hear sinners: 4th. Because they ask with no faith, or with faith weak and wavering: (St. James i.) 5th. Because although what we ask be good in itself, yet the Almighty refuses it, in order to grant us a greater good: 6th. Because God wishes us to persevere, as he declares in the parable of the friend asking bread, Luke, ch. ii.; and that we may esteem his gifts the more: 7th. We do not always receive what we beg, because, according to St. Augustine, (lib. ii, de Serm. Dom. et epis. 34, ad Paulinum) God often does not grant us what we petition for, that he may grant us something more useful and profitable. (Maldonatus)


If you do it right (believe in God) it will happen. Do you believe God can make it happen ? Do you believe God can move the mountain ?

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