Put the Ax to the Root of the Tree
When you look at the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree in Mark 11:14, you will notice that all He actually did was speak to the tree and say, "Let no one eat fruit from you ever again." He makes it look so simple, doesn't He? The next day as they passed by the tree again, the Bible says, "they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots."
I'm impressed with the fact that Jesus went right to the root of the tree. He didn't play around picking at the leaves. When a tree dries up at the root, the leaves will dry up also.
There are many things in our lives like that tree. We keep picking at the leaf and if we will ask the Lord, He will help us put "the ax to the root of the tree".
For instance, there was a time when I was praying for someone who was an alcoholic. I prayed and prayed and got nowhere. Finally, I asked the Lord, "How should I pray about this?" Somehow He made me aware that there was a deeper problem, a root problem. The alcohol was just the leaf on the tree.
Think back over some of the things you've been praying about for a while and make sure you are dealing with the root of the tree and not just the fruit.