Prayer That Moves Mountains
1. Before us in Mark 11:22-26, Jesus expresses the power and prerequisites of prayer. He describes the kind of prayer that moves mountains.
2. Lionel Fletcher wrote: "If I were asked: "What is the failure of so many Christians to achieve victory, and so many preachers to realize their early, glowing ideals and dreams?" I would say, without hesitation, that in the majority of cases it is the result of their failure to cultivate the daily habit of heart-searching, heaven-reaching, prevailing prayer."
3. Have you ever prayed for something and that prayer was answered? Have you ever had a direct answer to prayer? It is the privilege of every believer to pray and have his or her prayers answered. (Cp. Matt. 7:7, Jer. 33:3) Yet, the contrary is often true about our prayer-life. Instead of asking and receiving, we pray without answers. Why?
4. I believe our text can help us understand why our prayers often go unanswered. Let's notice the power of prayer and the prerequisites Jesus sets forth in our text.
I. A PRAYER 0F FORCE.
1. (Cp.Vs.23) Jesus used an interesting figure of speech. He spoke of "Moving Mountains." This was a common Jewish phrase, a regular, vivid phrase for removing difficulties. It was specially used of wise teachers. A good teacher who could remove the difficulties, which the minds of his scholars encountered, was called a mountain-mover.
2. Now I do not believe that Jesus was telling us that we could actually move a literal mountain. Mountains symbolize barriers, hindrances, obstacles, and problems. Jesus was describing prayer that could remove these mountains and declaring that prayer could remove mountains.
3. Jesus confronts us with the problems of our life, the power of our Lord, and the prayer that links them together. He is telling us that prayer is a mighty force in our life. When we are faced with obstacles and problems, the key to having them removed is prayer.
4. I think of a story that Watchman Nee told that demonstrates how prayer can move mountains in our life. Nee, as a young preacher, and six other students went to the village of Mei-hwa to preach the gospel. For days they preached and there was no response. It was some discouraging to the young preachers. One of the students asked the crowd one-day, "What's wrong? Why want you believe?"
The answer was that they already had a dependable god, Ta-Wang (Great King) and they didn't need another god. They described to the young preachers how Ta-Wang by the means of divination made known a certain day of the year and how for 286 years had provided unfailing sunshine for the day on which festivities were observed. They also explained how Ta-Wang had revealed and fixed the day this years date for the 11th.
One of the students, Li-Kuo-ching, when he heard that the day of festivities was set for the 11th and Ta-Wang had promised sunshine, declared to the people: "Then I promise you, that ...
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