Where does mountain-moving faith come from? Can faith be developed, or do you just “have it?” Does God still move mountains?
Immediately after the Transfiguration (Matthew 17, Mark 9, Luke 9), Jesus comes down from the mountain with Peter, James and John to find the other disciples in what some would call “a pickle.” A man’s son is demonized by seizures. The disciples tried but failed to heal the boy. Seeing Jesus, the boy’s father pleads with him to have mercy and heal his son.
“It (the demon) has often thrown him in the fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
I’m convicted by Jesus’ reply.
“If you can? Everything is possible for him who believes.”
The father’s reply is how I too feel most of the time.
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
After Jesus cast out the demon, healed the boy, and helped him to his feet, the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the demon.
Jesus told them, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
I want that kind of faith. Don’t you? Faith that moves mountains. Faith that accomplishes the impossible. But what’s the secret to that kind of faith?
And then Jesus said, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
I had always looked at this account and thought that Jesus was telling them they needed faith-filled prayer to accomplish his work… and I think that’s what he was telling them… but not how I envisioned. Jesus isn’t saying that prayer will be what unlocks the miracle. Jesus doesn’t cast out this demon with prayer. So where does prayer come in? Jesus had a rhythm and routine of prayer, going to the garden in Jerusalem or a cave on the mountainside in Galilee. From his time with the Father, Jesus drew strength and received direction.
Here Jesus connects faith and prayer. In our intimacy with our Father, our faith grows. We learn to trust Him in everything and ask Him for anything. We can ask Him to move the mountains in our life, the mountains in our ministry, the mountains of adversity. And He will!
Where is our focus? When we look at the size of the mountains, we say “it’s impossible!” When we look at the size of our God, we say “nothing is impossible!” We gain that kind of faith-filled perspective the closer we get to our Father.
“This kind comes out only by prayer.” Not a magic bullet, faith-filled super prayer… but from a heart full of faith because I’m spending enough time with the Father (in prayer) to know and trust His heart.