Can Prayer Really Move Mountains?

Do you answer ‘yes’ to the above question? Or, if you are honest, do you say ‘no’?

We know what God says–to call out to Him always. He says to come before Him alone and with others. He promises again and again to hear and do amazing things in our lives and the world.

Yet, we often miss it. How do we put away the guilt of not praying or believing like we’re ‘supposed’ to? How do we get passed our feelings that when we pray it seems like nothing happens? How do we begin afresh with wonder and faith? How do we take God at His word, at His promise, to hear and answer our prayers and yes, move mountains?

Here are some ways to begin on the journey:

  • Be inspired. Know the stories.

In Hungary, a country where I’ve been blessed to minister, there comes a prayer-inspiring story.

It was shortly after the Iron Curtain came down, when the doors were wide open and the spiritual vacuum vast.

The Cru staff in Hungary were having many, many in-depth, genuine, spiritual conversations. However, they began to be grieved as they were seeing very few people come to Christ. This led the leadership to call for a month of prayer in March of 1991. They pulled out of ministry, three days a week, at one of the most crucial ministry times of the year, to pray.

They saw several benefits after this including a 200% increase in those coming to Christ. They also experienced an awakening in prayer which would become a communal discipline.

In December of 1993 they met for another month of prayer. They prayed all day, confessing sins, their own and the country’s, and pleading with God for breakthrough in their ministry.

The following month, key leaders from the Cru ministry were introduced to a Hungarian minister of health charged with AIDS prevention for all of Hungary. Miracle after miracle happened until, in 1995, a Christian-based AIDS and drug prevention curriculum was launched in the secondary schools of Hungary through a partnership between Cru staff and the Hungarian government.

Since then, in Hungary alone, hundreds of thousands of young people have been exposed to the Gospel and given many moral directives for their lives. Now it is in 75 countries, in some it is called ‘Crossroads’, and only Heaven will show the impact.

All because God heard the prayers of those burdened for their country and host country, as they radically committed to come to Him. To read the whole story from Hungary, follow this link and read pp. 101-182

Have you heard these stories?

When one man, Moses, interceded for the entire Israelite people, and they were not destroyed?

How about Frank Laubauch whose practiced attentiveness to God led him on a journey which included a world-wide literacy campaign?

There are many more stories from a book called ‘Fireseeds’.

  • Be willing to sacrifice.

Every great move of God through prayer has come with sacrifice. Yet, what I have found in ministry and missions, is that, sadly, too often, we are not willing to sacrifice. Sometimes, like in Hungary, God is calling His people to give their work, essentially their ministry identity, to Him, so they can pray.

But the fury of questions holds us back. ‘What about all this ‘work’ I raised support and gave up so much to do?’ ‘Isn’t praying lazy, when I could be ministering here or there?’ ‘Will God even hear? I feel like I have been praying and things seem even worse.’ And there’s a host of other things.

We are held back, too, by the forces of evil. So often, these don’t show themselves as clearly what they are. They are masked in things like busyness, success, desire for self-worth in what we do. Prayer forces us to deal with everything that keeps us from God. It challenges our core belief of who is really in control. So, here, it is the sacrifice, often of our self-reliance, which is needed for us to draw close to God.

Whether rising early, traveling far, staying awake through the watches of the night, being willing to openly confess sin, letting go of the strategies and plans of people, or in many other ways, we are called to sacrifice. And, as with all things, God’s plan is to give us ‘immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine’ as we come to Him.

  • Draw your line in the sand.

In my early to mid-twenties, when I thought I could save the world, I remember making a type of vow. It went like this, ‘Lord, if you took away all of my other gifts and abilities and just let me pray, I would do it with all of my heart and be thankful.’

It was strangely prophetic. In my journey of the past three and a half years, I have seen my identity, and basic sense of competency taken away. Yet, through it all, my prayer life has only gotten stronger. So that many times, whether morning, noon, or in the watches of the night, all I find myself doing is praying.

I don’t share to say ‘hey, look at me…praying!’ But, I do humbly share, the grief and burden of my heart for this broken world is pressing upon me as never before. In many ways, it is because I have come close to death and know the time is short and eternity so close for all of us.

I raise the banner high and yes, draw that line in the sand. Because I believe God can give any one of us the faith to move mountains, to see a whole, wide world come to know Him, simply because we pray and believe.

  • Don’t lose heart.

 If I could look you in the eyes, I would plead with you to ‘not lose heart.’ If God has burdened you to pray, then pray. Even if no one will pray with you, still…pray. It can be lonely. But, truly, there is nothing more beautiful than prayer.

I remember sixteen years ago, after my mom had just died, I was living with my father. His heart was hurting so terribly, but he rose daily to pray. He prayed in the midst of great pain, as he had done each morning for as long as I could remember. Because of this, the constancy of his prayer life has never wavered.

Today, he prays daily for revival. He intercedes for this lost world that God would rend the Heavens and come down. He prays with all the faith of years of believing in God’s goodness. I believe God WILL hear his prayers and what a day that will be!

It’s true. Life hits us hard. It’s tough to keep breathing, sometimes impossible to stand. But we can always fall to our knees. We can always lay prostrate. We can always cry out to God. These are often the most moving supplications to God’s ears. He’s the Abba Father and He longs for our prayers.

It’s easy to let your heart be hardened. It’s easy to get jaded. It’s easy to have unbelief creep in until it’s a molded cast over your spirit. It’s a broken world and depending on where you read this from, so very, very broken.

But still, I say, ‘don’t lose heart.’ It’s your heartbeat on the line and because of that, it’s Heaven’s and Earth’s heartbeat yearning to be sound and whole forever. What if we all come to see that it’s do or die, life or death, faith or unbelief, God’s Spirit at work or silenced? Mountains would be moved, nations healed and the Kingdom of God ushered in.

Do you have a mustard seed of faith, a child-like trust, a spark which can light up this whole wide world? Yes, I believe you, you and you do. Yes, I believe today, right now, is the time to start praying like you mean it, like God and all His promises are real. Together we can lift the weary on eagle’s wings and see the nations come to Him. Together we can turn the tide and raise the banner of hope. Together we can.

 

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Abby Alleman

Abigail is a lover of life and story--the ones God writes and calls us to write with Him. She knows that no matter what tragedy comes, our stories are not over. Her newly released book 'A Million Skies' demonstrates the power of God's love and redemption over all of our lives. Having previously served overseas as a missionary with her husband and three children, she and her husband now touch the lives of refugees through the ministry of the Welcome Network. Learn more about Abigail at her blog and website (abigailalleman.com) or follow her on Instagram @abigail.alleman

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