Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you… for everyone who asks receives.” (Matthew 7:7-8) This is not just an advice, it is almost an assurance. However, there is a condition that applies to it. As Jesus clarified, “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24)
Jesus was once approached by a centurion for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus asked him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “No, Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Jesus was amazed by his faith and said to him, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment. (Matthew 8:5-13)
In another incident, two blind men sought Jesus’ attention by calling out loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They replied, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” At that moment, their sight was restored. (Matthew 9:27-30)
When Lazarus, a close friend of Jesus had died, he visited his home. Jesus asked Lazarus’ sister, Martha, “Whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Martha replied, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” Thereafter Jesus called out Lazarus from the grave and gave him a new life. (John 11:1-46)
In the present world, it is common for people to first ask God for something, and if they get it, express their belief in God. But to first believe in God while praying, and then experiencing his grace in life, is the way shown by Lord Jesus Christ.