Mountain Moving Prayer (Pt 1).

No doubt you know about the Bible miracle where the Red Sea parts and the children of Israel flee across to safety on dry land. But what about this back story leading up to the big event?

Moses was praying, which is not unexpected considering Pharaoh’s army was in hot pursuit. What is surprising, however, is the Lord’s response. “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground” (Exodus 14:15,16, emphasis added).

Why would God respond to Moses in such a way? Isn’t He always glad to hear from His children? Certainly He is. Yet in His providence, He arranges times for us to deal directly with  situations. Moses’ staff, once used for sheep, became a physical representation of God’s authority at the burning bush. He didn’t need to pray for the power and presence of God. He had it in his hand.  He just needed to move from intercession to operation, from appeal to action.

As believers, we possess that staff. In fact, we have the Shepherd too, through the indwelling Holy Spirit. I believe so strongly in communicating with God that I launched into this book writing project. Yet, there comes a time when we must quit praying about a situation and,  appropriating the divine power within us, tackle it head on.

Jesus reinforced this truth when His disciples came to Him with the request, “Lord, increase our faith!” He responded with one of His trademark metaphors, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” (Luke 17:5,6).

As we examine this encounter, note first the request by the apostles for a boost in faith. I give the Twelve high marks for recognizing their most urgent need. On some occasions, they were dull of mind, slow to comprehend, and off the mark –but not this time. Their appeal reveals two key Kingdom truths. 1) Faith is paramount for the believer. Facts and feelings serve a purpose, yet pale in comparison to faith. 2) God is the source of faith. It can’t be manipulated or manufactured. We can muster up positive thinking, a sharp mental focus, and good attitude in our own strength, but they aren’t the same. True faith originates with God.

When Solomon took over for his father David as king, God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” (1 Kings 3:5). Instead of long life, earthly treasures, or victory over his enemies, Solomon sagely asked for wisdom. He knew that God was its source and that he’d need all he could get to lead this nation and build the Temple.

On another occasion a distraught father brought his demon possessed son to the disciples for healing. When they were unable to help, he went to Jesus and asked, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us. ‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:22-24).

I absolutely resonate with that distressed father. In my head, I know God is all powerful and can do anything, but in my heart, I feel distant and detached.  In my flesh, I doubt. I’m prone to jump in and try to fix the situation in my own strength. It’s at those times I must stop and cry out along with the disciples and father, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief . . . increase my faith!” Pause for a moment, meditate on those verses above, and ask God to provide you with mountain moving faith.

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