Moving mountains?!

A few weeks ago I heard a sermon on Mark 11:11-25: the mountain was defined as “obstacles to God’s kingdom”. Are you praying fervently for a mountain that doesn’t get moved? then that “mountain” might be already furthering God’s kingdom! E.g. Jesus’ prayer in Mark 14:35-36:

And going a little farther, he fell on the ground(A) and prayed that, if it were possible,(B) the hour might pass from him. 36And he said, (C) “Abba, Father,(D) all things are possible for you. Remove(E) this cup from me.(F) Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Thankfully that mountain  didn’t get moved. Our salvation depended on it!

Then again, this past Sunday, a different preacher also happened to preach on that very same passage. Only this time, the mountain was defined as “the magnitude of prayer requests, rather than the variety of the requests” – meaning no matter how big the obstacle (be it physical, spiritual, emotional, etc), God is still more than able to move it. Towards the end he mentioned this quote, which I thought was superb:

“If it were the case that whatever we ask, God was pledged to give, then I for one, would never pray again, because I would not have sufficient confidence in my own wisdom to ask God for anything; and I think if you will consider it, you will agree.” -Alec Motyer

Which of these 2 definitions is the mountain Jesus is talking about? It’s could be both! Big requests AND obstacles to the kingdom of God.

Finally, as I was researching for this post, I came across a part of an article* which explained God’s answers to prayer very well:

Perhaps we could put this matter this way: being good, our Heavenly Father gives only good gifts to His children; being wise as well, He knows which gifts are good and which are not.  So then if we ask for good things, He grants them; if we ask for things which are not good (either not good in themselves, or not good for us or for others, directly or indirectly, immediately or ultimately) He denies them; and only He knows the difference.

Pray because you can, thanks to Jesus. Pray because God hears. And pray because God answers. And whatever He does, in whatever way He answers, will bring glory to Him (even if you don’t like the answer!).

*The original article can be found here in Word document format (.doc). Or there’s a html version (opens directly in your web browser) if you so prefer.

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