The Dangers of Ignoring Context & the Entirety of Biblical Teaching on Prayer

Okay…that probably breaks all kinds of rules about acceptable length of blog titles!

Here is another nugget that didn’t make it into last Sunday’s sermon from Mark 11:12-25, this time dealing with the misuse of Jesus’ statements on prayer (vv.23-24), and is again from R.C. Sproul’s commentary on the Gospel of Mark.

The force that is at the bottom of New Age thinking is really magic, and the basis of the word of faith movement is not very different. It seizes on this statement by Jesus to assert, “Whatever you believe, if you believe it truly, you will have it.”…What’s wrong with this picture? The Bible gives us a wealth of instruction about prayer, repeatedly stressing the importance of trusting God for the answers to our prayers. Therefore, an aphoristic statement like this has to be understood in the light of all of that teaching, especially the New Testament qualifications about how God answers our prayers. Something like the word of faith movement results when we lift a verse like this out of its particular context and ignore the rest of the teaching of Scripture.