“Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer can move God.”
This quote from a song in one of our choir books here in California reminds us that there is great power in even a little faith when God is with us. Let’s look at what Jesus said about faith.
“20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you”
We see in the scripture that Jesus said we only need faith as a grain of mustard seed to move mountains. Mustard seeds are very small. For prayer to work we need just a little bit of faith to start. Faith is a belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
“11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith does the impossible because it brings God to undertake for us and nothing is impossible with God.
“27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”
Faith produces and works in conjunction with prayer. I strongly believe if we pray with faith and God answers our prayer, our prayer life and faith grow stronger. As young people we need to understand that a lack of faith can be found in the root of a poor prayer life. In other words, if we are not praying to God, our faith will be small. When was the last time you prayed to God and asked Him to help you? When was the last time you prayed for a soul to be saved? When was the last time you spent more than a couple of minutes crying out to God to answer your prayer? Has your prayer life become weak and subsequently your faith in God is also weak? God wants to answer our prayers, but we must bring our petitions to God in prayer. This is something we need to learn as young people; when we are in a situation that we cannot control, we should have faith that we can reach out to God for help.
Think about Abraham when he went to prayer for Lot to be saved out of Sodom and Gomorra.
“23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
26 And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake.
30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.
32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.
33 And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.”
We find Lot, Abraham’s nephew put himself in a really bad situation. Abraham had the faith to go to God and ask Him for big things. I don’t think that this was the first time Abraham talked to God in prayer. I am convinced that God knew Abraham on a first name basis, because we also find in the scriptures God was listening to Abraham. Abraham was a man of prayer.
What about Moses and his petitions to God to spare the Israelite people? Every time the Israelites disobeyed God Moses fell on his face before God and started praying. Moses was a man of prayer.
Exodus 32: 11-14
“11 And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.
14 And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.”
What about Elijah on the mountain with the prophets of Baal? Remember Baal’s prophets tried all day to get their God’s attention. The prophets danced around, and cut themselves, but their God did not respond. On the other hand, Elijah had a connection to God through prayer.
1 Kings 18:37-38
“37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.”
I am convinced that God knew Elijah’s voice when he prayed, because Elijah prayed consistently to God. So, when Elijah prayed God heard and answered his Prayer.
“1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;
4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.
10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which are of your sort? then shall ye make me endanger my head to the king.
11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.
16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.
17 As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
19 And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
21 And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.”
Daniel was also a man of prayer. Daniel was an exiled Jew in Babylon, taken there as a boy, he belonged to a noble family and was exceptionally able and intelligent. Daniel lived through two kings and then finally King Darius. King Darius divided his kingdom into one hundred and twenty provinces and appointed a prince or ruler over each province. Over the princes King Darius appointed three presidents and over the presidents King Darius placed Daniel. About this time, Daniel was in his eighties and his position made him second to the throne. The princes and presidents below him became jealous and wanted Daniel out of the way. They looked high and low to find a fault with Daniel but couldn’t find anything wrong with his character. What they did notice is Daniel kept the laws of his God and continually prayed. What a testimony! Even his worst enemies couldn’t find any fault in Daniel’s life. Character is worth more than money or anything in this world. Daniel’s character was perfect. Because of their wicked jealously, the princes and presidents devised a plan to get Daniel out of the way. They went to King Darius and persuaded him to make a proclamation that prayer to any other than the king himself would be punishable by death. This meant, anyone caught praying to anything other than King Darius, would be thrown into the lion’s den.
“6 Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever.
7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.”
Daniel could have stopped praying. He could have hidden, but Daniel was not a weak Christian! He had moral stamina and courage! He was not ashamed to be caught on his knees praying to the true God.
“10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
11 Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.”
Daniel loved God so much that he was not afraid to open his window and pray just as he had done in times past. We find the princes immediately told the King Darius what Daniel had done. The King loved Daniel and was sorrowful that he had to throw Daniel into the lion’s den. Daniel was not afraid because he believed God would deliver him. Daniel felt prayer to God was so important he was ready to give his life for it.
Prayer is something we need to do every day. I am challenging you as a young person to make sure you spend time with God in prayer.
“6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”