People who don’t pray, or refuse to pray, miss out on the power, peace, and presence of God. God most definitely listens to prayers, answers prayers, and moves in response to prayers because prayer moves the heart of God. Jesus said: “21Truly I tell you, 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. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:21-22 Jesus used the term “mountain” figuratively. He wanted to convey that believers should be confident that our prayers carry great power. Our prayers can be more than empty wishes or good thoughts. But in order for our prayers to have power, they need to be fueled by faith.
There are two main principles that will help you to pray mountain-moving prayers. The first principle is to be connected to Christ at all times. If you are living far from God, it’s very hard to sense his presence or hear his voice. When we are connected to Christ, we have spiritual power. We receive the power to endure, change direction, press on, or respond in a million other ways.
My friend Van Johnson, my son Josh, and I went to visit Chris and Maggie Hostetter in Papua New Guinea. On the way back, we stopped in Japan for a couple days. During our stay in Japan, we rode the trains to get around. Most people who live in the inner city don’t have cars. They rely heavily on public transportation. Every time I got on a train, I couldn’t help but look up. Suspended above me was a web of wires that resembled a spider’s nest. They were low hanging, open power lines that had thousands of stabilizers connected to them. The trains all had mechanisms that reached up and touched the wire providing power to the giant electric motors, that in turn, powered the train. I am no electrician, nor am I an engineer, but I do know that all the power for the train comes from the wires and the train needs to be in constant contact with the wires or they won’t move even an inch. John 15:5 says: “5I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
All of our power comes from Jesus. He sustains us, strengthens us, gives us wisdom, and enables us to do things and see things that we never thought possible. Another word here is “abide.” We must “abide in Christ”. To “abide” means to remain in or live in. It’s through our connection to Christ that we receive healing and direction. If you are connected to Christ, he will get you to where you need to be. Drop the connection and you will feel powerless.
The second principle to pray mountain-moving prayers is to keep your eyes focused on Jesus, not the mountain. Your mountain might be cancer, it might be a wayward child, your marriage, finances, or any other seemingly unmovable object. Everyone has mountains to climb in their lives and we can’t escape that they are there. When we turn our gaze away from Jesus and onto the mountain, we lose sight of the Mountain Mover.
Florence Chadwick was a well-known endurance swimmer; she was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions. When she decided to swim twenty-one miles from Catalina Island to the coast of California, everyone thought she could do it. The morning she jumped into the water, a dense fog had settled in and she could hardly see the boats in her own party. Millions were watching her attempt on national television. Several times sharks got close to her and had to be driven off with shotguns. As the hours ticked off, she swam on. Fatigue had never been her problem in these swims – it was the bone-chilling cold of the water. More than 15 hours later, numbed with the cold, she asked to be taken out. She couldn’t go on. Her mother and her trainer, alongside in the boat, told her that they were near land and assured her that she could make it.
Except when she looked at the California coast, all she could see was dense fog. She had been pulled out only a half mile from the California coast. Later, when she was interviewed, she said that she quit because she could not see the shore. If you lose sight of God, all you will see is the mountain and lose hope.
Two months after Florence Chadwick’s epic attempt and defeat, she tried the swim again. This time the water was just as cold and, once again, the fog had rolled in. The only difference was, this time she knew she could make it. She chose to believe that the shore was just ahead, even though she couldn’t see it until her feet touched the bottom of the sea on the coast of California. She beat the previous record by 2 hours. (http://www.motivationaljoe.com/swimming-in-the-fog-story/, accessed 28 April 2016)
God does hear you and will provide for you, often in ways you would never expect. My friends, stay strong, trust God even if you can’t see the shore, and pray mountain-moving prayers. Believe that God will provide for you each step of the way. He will.