Give Me That Mountain

Prayer Is Not just about Asking, It Is Also about Declaring

Prayer on the Move. Day thirteen...

Food was an important part of farm life as I was growing up. For country folks, there was no such thing as lunch. It was called dinner, with meat and potatoes, vegetables, bread, and dessert. And supper was another hot meal, with another round of meat and potatoes, vegetables, bread, and dessert. But nobody in our family was overweight; I guess we worked it off.

Besides regular meals, tasty food was always sitting around somewhere for the grabbing. It never occurred to me that life for many children around the world was very different from mine.

roast and potatoes

I never had to ask Mom, “Would you fix me something to eat?” I just ate. But if I had been born to a different family in a different situation, I could have very well asked Mom, “Would you fix me something to eat?” and not really been sure if she could or would.

When we pray, we are often not really sure if God can or will answer our prayers. That is why it is so critical to understand what He says in His Word, and then act accordingly.

Children, who ask their mothers for something to eat without knowing whether or not there will be anything to eat, frequently have trouble adapting to a situation where food is plentiful. Foster kids with a background of going hungry will often steal extra food and hoard it, even though in their foster family they have access to food whenever they are hungry.

And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.
Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:22–25 ESV)

I had faith that Mom would always have food prepared for me at meal time. Even if I was getting mighty hungry by 11:00 a.m. I knew, when I came in from the field at noon, that dinner would be ready on the table. I knew because I knew how Mom operated.

If I was in the field with our hired hand, I could confidently say to him, “Francis, let's go eat!” knowing that what I had just said would come to pass.

In Jesus' illustration, He tells us to have faith in God, in much the same way I had faith in Mom. And then He turns prayer on its head when He talks about “speaking” to whatever it is we want to change, rather than asking Him to do it.

I don't remember ever asking Mom if I could come in for dinner. I just knew when I needed to eat and I knew when Mom would have the food ready. When it was the right time, I spoke what needed to happen either to myself or out loud: “I'm hungry and I'm going to the house to eat.”

When we know what God has provided for us, we don't need to ask Him to do what He's already done; we just need to speak it into existence. Going back to Isaiah 53:5b, we are told that by Jesus' stripes we are healed (see Isaiah 53:5b). So we have the authority to act on that truth—on what God has already done.

Let me say this again: We are healed by Jesus' stripes. And if we know we are healed from God's perspective, but we are sick from our own perspective, then which one takes precedence?

The perspective we speak about—the perspective we dwell on—takes precedence. And perspective does matter. Sickness just runs wild in an environment that says, "I am sick." But sickness cannot survive the stripes of Jesus. Yes... I know this sounds ridiculous, but let me give you an example of what I'm talking about.

Sherrel and I minister twice a week at the Gospel Rescue Mission in our city. As I was talking to one of the men in our class, probably three or four months ago, he told me about the constant pain in his back from seven cracked vertebrae. Because the doctors had told him he would just have to live with his condition, He saw himself as crippled.

But Sherrel and I didn't see “Bobby” as crippled. We knew Jesus had taken a few stripes for those cracked vertebrae. So Sherrel, “Ronnie” (who had just been healed of a frozen toe the previous week), and I prayed for Bobby's back—not by telling God about the back, but by telling the back about God. We spoke directly to the situation about God; we didn't speak to God about the situation.

When we asked Bobby to verify what had happened, he told us that he had felt some popping and cracking in his back, and his back no longer hurt. (I have followed up with him several times and he has had no problems since.)

A couple of days later, Ronnie asked for prayer for his wrist, which had limited mobility. I asked if anyone in the class had a strong desire to pray, and Bobby raised his hand. Bobby took hold of Ronnie's wrist and began to ask God to heal it. I didn't say anything, but just listened. We asked Ronnie to verify the results, and he reported his wrist had a little more motion.

I then suggested Bobby speak to the wrist about God, rather than ask God to fix the wrist. I had also noticed that the first time Bobby had prayed he was bringing up components in the wrist that Ronnie had not revealed to us. I reminded Bobby that God was revealing to him what parts of the wrist he should speak to in Jesus' name.

So Bobby prayed again by speaking to those specific parts of Ronnie's wrist, and Ronnie verified that he had very close to a full range of motion.

Can you see how identifying yourself as someone who is healed puts you in a different position than identifying yourself as someone who is sick?

The mountain in your life is no longer formidable. You know how things are with God, and you tell the mountain how things are with God.

Prayer is not just about asking things in Jesus' name. Prayer is also declaring things in Jesus' name.

Have a good day,
Mike

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