Prayer is an activity that I will never fully understand. Sure, I get that I need to pray, that there is a certain way to pray, and that God hears all my requests, but why does it seem my list of unanswered prayers is longer than the answered one? I don’t have a solution for this and it irks me. I love pondering the big questions of life and religion and so often I’m left with the answer of, “God is a mystery and I will never
Touché, Yahweh, Touché. understand him.”
When it comes to prayer, here are two verses that always spur deep thinking:
“Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Truth—I have tried praying this prayer before, and the mountain didn’t move.
But I believed! I had faith and didn’t doubt that God could do it! What happened to ask, seek, and knock and it will be given to me?!
Ok. Enough about my selfish pursuits to throw mountains around and more about how praying to move mountains applies to you.
What do your prayers consist of? A truth I realized in my prayer life a while ago is that I continually asked for things that I wanted, but that doesn’t mean that God agrees with me. God is my father, my mentor, my commander—he knows what is best for me. While I’m down here sending up prayers he’s sifting through them deciding what I need, not what I want.
Have you prayed to move a mountain before? When I read the above passage I wonder whether Jesus was being literal or metaphorical about the mountain. He did just wither a fig tree and he’s stopped storms before; he’s also ruler of the universe, so I think his reference to moving mountains is legit.
In our lives, I also see mountains being “big problems” that we’re trying to overcome. When monumental calamities show up in our lives we tend to rush to God in prayer: “Please fix this- take this burden from me- make the pain stop- I don’t understand- help!”
God has a specific plan for you when confronting a big problem. It may disappear right away (mountain thrown into the sea) or it may take some time. God may not make the mountain disappear, but he may lead you around it instead, thus removing the mountain from your path. Either way, the mountain will be moved, but it may not be in the time frame you want.
Do you trust God enough that you possess a faith that will move mountains? It’s not easy to trust in God and let go of your efforts to control your own life, but when you do, you’ll see the difference. Proverbs confirms it, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (3:5-6).
Going Deeper: Evaluate the language of your prayers, is it self-centered or God-centered? Mountains won’t be moved if you try to do it yourself; ask God to help you move one today. In the comments below, would you share “mountain moving” prayer stories you’ve experienced?