20 “When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” 21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” -Matthew 21:20-22
There is POWER in prayer….power to move things, power to change.
I like how Matt Kennedy (in an Article from Stand Firm Against the Ruins) helps us understand this mystery
“If God does not change then, necessarily, prayer cannot change God.
If you know your bible well your brain might run back to a number of passages in which God appears to experience a change of heart. One common text is Genesis 18:22-33 where Abraham appears to persuade God to hold back from from destroying Sodom. If you read the text carefully, you’ll notice some elements that ought to give you pause. Before the bargaining begins, God says this to Abraham: “
Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.” (Genesis 18:20-21)
Does God need to go down to “investigate”? We’re told in Hebrews 4:13
“No creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
God sees all people all the time. The behavior of the people of Sodom is no mystery to God. He didn’t need to find out what’s going on down there. He knows.
That should tip you off that there’s more going on in this text than meets the eye. It should also not escape notice that Abraham initiates the bargaining in v. 23. God doesn’t lay down an opening bid. He doesn’t say: ”If there are less than 49 righteous people in Sodom I’m taking the city out.” If he’d said that then there might be some basis for the common mis-perception that that God changes his mind. But as it stands, there’s no bargaining or persuasion going on because God doesn’t lay out any number to be persuaded from. God’s not being won over to Abraham’s point of view. But, if you read closely, Abraham is taught a lesson about the character of God. God will have mercy on the wicked for the sake of the righteous. Of course, there were no righteous people in Sodom…Lot certainly doesn’t fit that bill. And there are no righteous here. But as it turns out, God has preserved the entire world on the basis of righteousness of only One Man. This prayer exchange between God and Abraham has not changed God’s mind…but it has deepened Abraham’s understanding of God. And God uses it to foreshadow the coming of the Righteous One for who’s sake God gives grace and mercy to sinners.” -Matt Kennedy
God doesn’t change His mind to move the mountain for us, He already knows whether or not we will have the faith to move that mountain.
There is power in prayer to change…and that change happens within the faithful in prayer.
There is a song by Lauren Daigle called
“Trust in YOU.”
“Letting go of every single dream, I lay each one down at Your feet. Every moment of my wandering, NEVER changes what YOU see. I’ve tried to win this war I confess. My hands are weary I need Your rest. Mighty Warrior, King of the fight. No matter what I face, You’re by my side.
When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move. When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through, When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You. I will trust, I will trust in You.
Truth is, YOU know what tomorrow brings. There’s not a day ahead You have not ahead You have not seen. So, in all thing be my life and breath. I WANT WHAT YOU WANT LORD AND NOTHING ELSE.”
This is the key to moving mountains.
It starts within our hearts.
All the POWER is there…if we believe.