Mark 11, open your Bible to Mark's gospel and we're going to be looking at verses 22 to 25...verses 22 to 25 in Mark chapter 11.
We know we're in the Passion Week of Christ. He has entered into the city of Jerusalem on Monday. On Tuesday He came in and attacked and assaulted the temple. And by the time we come to our text in verse 22, it is Wednesday...Wednesday. On the next day, Thursday will be the Passover meal, on Friday the crucifixion, on Sunday the resurrection. So these are the last days of our Lord's life and ministry.
Now the subject of our verses, verses 22 to 25, and we'll actually back up to verse 20 so we get the flow, the subject here is prayer...prayer. And you might think that this is a kind of an odd place to do a lesson on prayer. It might seem to you that there could be other more pertinent things to talk about, given what is coming with the Lord dying, rising, ascending, and all that's bound up in that. But this lesson is absolutely critical and it's critical at this juncture.
Now nothing that our Lord says here is new. Everything He says here He has said somewhere else, probably many times not recorded. In the 24/7 three year experience of these disciples with Jesus, He repeated these things over and over again. This is very familiar. But it's also familiar to us because the things we're going to be reading are also elsewhere previously in the gospel accounts.
Why now? Why a lesson on prayer? Well it's really pretty simple if you just think about it. For three years, the disciples had lived in the presence of God Himself, God in human flesh. Anything they needed, He provided. It would seem to me that though they were raised to pray, synagogue life was full of prayers, though they were no doubt taught as children to play, the Jews prayed cycles of prayers all day every day, prayer would have been a very, very formidable part of their upbringing and their... certainly their adult life would have followed the way they had been raised. But it seems to me that when they were with Jesus, it had a diminishing effect on their prayer life for the simple reason that why would you go to God hoping to be heard when you could grab Jesus by the arm and know you were heard? And everything that they needed came directly from His hand. When they needed protection, He provided that. When they needed direction, He provided that. When they needed food, He provided that. When they needed wisdom, He provided that....