Move Mountains

“…if you say to this mountain, ‘Be cast into the sea, it will be done.”

The meaning of this expression is more meaningful than if it were literally true. “Mountain” in the Bible era was often a popular figure of speech for any insurmountable problem. Jesus is saying God can solve any problem.

“The phrase about removing mountains was a quite common Jewish phrase. It was a regular, vivid phrase for removing difficulties.” (Barclay)

Unresolved issues and difficult problems were figuratively spoken of as a “mountain.” Persons with the capacity to resolve issues and solve problems were called “mountain-removers.” Jesus was teaching that prayer is the means of solving that which seems unresolvable. 

This promise of God’s answer to the prayer made in faith is made to disciples, not to the multitude. “Nor should we interpret Mark 11:24 to mean, ‘If you pray hard enough and really believe, God is obligated to answer your prayer no matter what you ask.’ That kind of faith is not faith in God; rather it is nothing but faith in faith, or faith in feelings,” wrote Wiersbe.

Christians need to be cautious how their faith in God is expressed. To simply pray about a thing and then declare God is going to do it can be confusing to some.. To say, “God is going to do a certain thing” in the mind of the unbeliever obligates God.  It is better to say, “My God is able. I trust Him with the result.”

The Old Testament account of the Hebrew children being put in the fiery furnace is an example. They did not say, “God is going to deliver us.” They said, “Our God is able to deliver us.” They trusted God and relied upon His will. It is not that we trust God to do it, but rather that we trust God (period). We trust God to do what His loving will determines is best.

Our asking must be according to the many qualifications noted in Scripture.