Prayer That Moves Mountains

Strong in prayer, faith, belief and not doubting,

Daily Spirit & Word, 624: Stop Your Wimpy Praying.

Prayer That Moves Mountains

Good morning my friends, at our worship team meeting on Friday, one of the group, during prayer, said, “Lord, forgive our wimpy praying”… Prayer that lacks power. Prayer that has no legs in it. Prayer that doesn’t expect answers. “Oh Lord, forgive our wimpy prayers”.

Thankfully, the Word of God has a lot to say about prayer and how to ensure our prayers are answered.

Matthew 21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

What does that verse above tell us?

  • That we can get anything we want? No!
  • That God is like a genie in the lamp, that we can rub and get all our wishes to come true? No!

Just like all the great memory verses in God’s Word, we must look at this verse in it’s context to understand what our Lord Jesus was saying.

Why is context important? Because, someone who prays, believing that he or she will get an answer to that prayer, and doesn’t get what he or she wants is going to be bitterly disappointed and may give up on prayer or the Lord very quickly.

Matthew 21:18-22
18 Early in the morning, as he (Jesus) was on his way back to the city, he was hungry.
19  Seeing a fig-tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
20  When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig-tree wither so quickly?” they asked.
21  Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig-tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.
22  If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Jesus was hungry: He expected to be fed by a fig tree. He said to it (as if it had ears or a mind and will to understand) “May you never bear fruit again!” That fig tree withered instantly.

Then Jesus explained about faith and answered prayer: “If you have faith and don’t doubt and if you believe; then you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer”… The keys to answered prayer: faith, belief and not doubting.

Remember what Jesus said to Thomas? “Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27)… After Jesus rose from the dead he appeared first to all the disciples apart from Thomas. Church historians record that Thomas went on to become the Apostle who travelled to India and established one of the oldest and longest surviving groups of Christians in the world. He obviously did stop doubting and believed.

The Cursing of the Fig Tree:

Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?

Most Bible commentators believe that this cursing of the fig tree is symbolic. I do believe that too, because the evidence from Scripture is compelling; the Fig Tree is Symbolic of the Nation of Israel.

When did Jesus curse the fig tree?

It happened a week before Passover, and was during the last few days of Jesus’ life. It was very early in the season for figs, but because figs grow before the leaves come, Jesus would have expected to find some figs on the tree. In the UK we normally only get one crop of figs, but in the right climate and growing conditions, people who grow figs can get three crops in a whole year from fig trees. When Jesus saw the leaves on the tree He expected to find fruit too.

What was happening around the time Jesus cursed the fig tree?

When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the people wanted to make Him King, but Jesus went to the Temple: What did He find there? Instead of pure religion it was a joke. People were buying and selling in the Temple. He got angry and turned over the tables and made a whip to drive people out of God’s House.

When he arrived he expected to find: PURE RELIGION: (to eat fruit from the fig tree).

  • The Fig Tree: Looked Good: (Had green leaves).
  • The Temple: Looked Good, had all the trappings of religion; Sacrifices, Robes, Magnificent Building.

However, just like the fig tree, the Temple was BARREN: Dead religion, faithless religiosity. Faithless religion is just as bad as pagan witchcraft. People performed their religious chants, followed religiously their duties, said the right prayers, thinking that because of the words and the way they are performed God is obliged to do their bidding. It’s just EMPTY and FAITHLESS religiosity. It was never meant to be what was said or how it was performed, pure religion was always meant to come for a heart that really wants to please God and from a people who wanted to live with God and in accordance with His will.

The Cursed Fig Tree: is a WARNING:

Not just to Israel, but to every follower of Jesus today: He’s looking for you to bear fruit in your daily walk with Him.

If you are not being fruitful, then your faith is as good a dead.

Repent or Perish:  Luke 13:1-9 (Repent or Perish).
1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
2  Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?
3  I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.
4  Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?
5  I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
6  Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig-tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7  So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig-tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8  ” ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig round it and fertilise it. 9  If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ “

Matthew 3:7-12 Produce The Fruit Of True Repentance. 
7  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptising, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
8  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
9  And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
10  The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11  “I baptise you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
12  His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Without FAITH it is impossible to please God.

How to get this ‘mountain moving’ faith.

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Hebrews 11 is the great chapter on FAITH: It tells us about the faith of; Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab (the Prostitute).

The writer of Hebrews then goes onto explain: How he didn’t have the time to write about all the others who demonstrated great faith (but we have their stories in the Bible too).  Hebrews 11:32-34 “And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33  who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34  quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.”

Answered Prayer: We Must BELIEVE and KNOW that God REWARDS those who earnestly seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6).

Without FAITH it is impossible to please God.

What was Jesus doing when He cursed the fig tree?

He was showing God’s displeasure when there is a lack of real FAITH in Israel. That Israel would one day be crushed (It was a few years later when Jerusalem was sacked by the Romans).

However, True faith will result in a fruitful life.

For the follower of Jesus we will be bearing much fruit in our daily walk with the Lord.

  • He’s looking for you to be fruitful.
  • He’s expecting you to be fruitful.
  • He wants you to be fruitful.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

How’s your fruit doing?

If you are like me, like an ordinary human being, you’ll readily admit that there are areas in your life that you need to be more fruitful; more loving, kind, generous, faithful etc… Except if you are a Christian, then you are NOT like an ordinary human being, because you’ve got the Holy Spirit living within you. You’ve got the POWER of God in your soul. Your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit (the dwelling place of God). Jesus is in you. Father God is in you. Heaven is in your heart. You are a member of God’s Kingdom Family. You are a Royal child of God. Heir to the Kingdom. Now, how’s your faith?

If Jesus was to walk up to you today, as He did that good looking fig tree, full of the promise of fruit, would He find FAITH alive and well within your soul?

If you don’t doubt, or stop doubting and believe; you can do anything as a follower of Jesus.

If you have faith, no mountain will be able to stand in your way.

How do we get more faith?

It comes by exercising the faith we’ve already got.

It’s the same as the muscles in your body, if you don’t do any exercise your muscles will deteriorate, you’ll get weaker and your bones will not stay together very well. Strong muscles are good for your whole body. Faith in every area of the Christian life needs to be exercised:

  • To be stronger: We need to practice the walk: Give generously; to people and especially to God. This shows we’re not trusting in money, but in God. We showing God and the world that we LOVE God more than money by giving it away generously. Once you start to give generously, your faith in the Lord will grow much stronger.
  • To be stronger: We need to practice the walk: BE MORE LOVING: Love the people God brings into your daily life. Be kind in the way that you talk to everybody. Being loving and kind is costly, but when you do it with determination and seeking God’s help and power to be more loving, then you’ll get much stronger in your faith and walk with Jesus.
  • To be stronger: We need to practice the walk: Stop gossiping and back-stabbing, work hard for your boss, share the Gospel as much as you can, give generously, go out of your way to help other people, speak up for the weak, those in need, the poor.

When you PRACTICE the FAITH you’ve already received, then your faith will grow much stronger day by day. You’ll learn to TRUST God more and you’ll expect much more to be done as your prayer life gets more sincere and expectant. As your intimacy with Father God grows ever closer, you’ll experience what divine dependency is like. You’ll bear MUCH fruit. God LOVES to give even more than you do. He’s longing to answer ALL your prayers, but you’ll never get a single prayer answered without FAITH and BELIEF. To stop your doubting, start living the way He’s revealed, empowered and called you to live. Be filled afresh today with God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (John 17:26).

If you are praying for something and not seeing any answers yet, start living the way He’s revealed in the Bible. Be the person that Jesus saved you to be: Full of faith and faithful to Him.

PRAYER: “Oh LORD, forgive our wimpy prayers, strengthen our faith, help us to bear fruit in our lives and our walk with You. Enable us by Your Holy Spirit to walk with You today Lord. Help us to see with Your eyes the potential for good all around us. Lord give us the ability to make the most of all the opportunities You are giving us today. Amen!”

Most probably, the first MOUNTAIN that you’ll see thrown into the sea is your wimpy prayers. Be strong in the LORD.

I’m hoping and praying that you’ll be closer to Jesus this week than last.

Don.

 

Like A Withered Tomato Plant.

Drought, Dryness, Thirst, Hunger,

Daily Spirit & Word 558:

Like A Withered Tomato Plant.

Good morning my friends, I’ve had a wonderful week so far and I’m looking forward to an exciting weekend. The School came to church yesterday for their end of term assembly, it was so good hearing all the children singing and watching their dance before the Lord. You can learn a LOT from children: out of the mouths of babes.

I’ve shared with folks a few time how a few days ago, I ventured into my garden and was horrified. It strange when you’ve set your mind to relax and enjoy a break from your labours then disaster strikes. Well it was only a little disaster, but well worth sharing, because the LORD has been speaking to me about it since.

I was just sitting down when I glanced over to my tomato plants, they’d all began to wither, their leaves were curled-up and the tops drooping terribly. What had happened? I’d not watered them for a day, it was a HOT day, and though I’d planed to water them, as usual, in the evening, they’d already begun to wilt in the heat of the sun. So I quickly got my garden hose and sprayed them, then soaked each plant in turn, the soil in their pots was so dry and hard that the water just floated and would not sink into the soil. I kept soaking them for over an hour. Then I returned to my labour in another part of the garden, fearing the worse that the tomatoes had been withered beyond salvation. They gotten so dried up they’d never be able to soak in the life-giving water.

However, after another hour, I glanced at my plants again, and though their leaves were still much softer than normal, they’d begun to lift and their heads were standing up again. Another hour passed, I’d watered them again and then they were standing tall, firm and ready to face the heat of the sun again.

Well, since then the LORD has been showing me from His Word in so many places that we NEED to come to HIM every single day if we’re going to prosper and live as Christians. If you truly want to be known by God as a Follower of Jesus Christ, then you need to stay connected to Christ or you too will wither and die. It will be as if you are just like a non-Christian, you will be so dried-up Spiritually that your head will droop, your desire for spiritual things will not be there, you’ll be hardened against instruction and correction. Just like the plant that had gotten so hard that it couldn’t drink-in the very thing it needed to survive.

CURSED: Cursed is the man (person).

Jeremiah 17:5-6 5  This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no-one lives.

Let’s read that again in another translation:

Jeremiah 17:5-6 5  Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
6  For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

  • Whenever we’re tempted to BE independent of God.
  • Whenever we’re fooled into THINKING “I can do it by myself”.
  • Whenever we’re tricked into doing things in WORLDLY ways.

Then we’re CURSED. (Be shocked my friends, because it’s introduced to us like this, “This IS what the LORD says”, i,e. it’s not a man saying it to you, it’s not a book saying it to you, it’s the LORD Himself. It’s a warning from Heaven; “Don’t trust in yourself, don’t trust in man’s cunning, man’s wisdom, man’s strength or anything else MANKIND tells you how to be, how to live and how to succeed in this world. TRUST ONLY IN GOD. (He’s revealed HIS will in HIS Word).

Let’s see it unpacked just a little more for today: On Sunday I’m going to be opening up God’s WORD on this subject a little more.

BLESSED: Blessed is the man (person).

Now just sit and soak in God’s WORD (Like my tomato plant; and BE revived, be renewed, have your thirst quenched, feel the goodness surge through your veins, let Him lift your head).

Jeremiah 17:7-8 7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Notice in the KJV “Her leaf shall be green” That’s awesome, I hadn’t noticed that before. AWESOME! This really does apply to both men and women my friends.

 

BLESSED by the LORD is the person who trusts in HIM.

 

But NOTICE: The reason why?????

The reason God doesn’t want you or me or anyone to TRUST in their flesh or the advice of other men or women in their ‘worldly’ wisdom, is this:

Jeremiah 17:9 9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Why? Because your HEART is: DECEITFUL (it will trick, fool and lie to us).

Because our HEART is: DESPERATELY WICKED: the heart will lead you away from God into wicked and foolish things. It will be desperate for the things that God has said are NOT GOOD for you. Your Heart will lead you away from God because in our natural un-redeemed condition our HEART is deceitful and desperately wicked. (Even for Christian’s who’ve begun to walk in the flesh, the heart will lead you further away from God if you trust it’s inclinations).

It’s like my tomato plant, it desperately needed water, but was rejecting the water at first. Even though I was soaking it, it had gotten so HARD, it would not and couldn not drink in the precious life-giving fluid.

Oh my friends, is the LORD shouting out to you this Friday? Stop, stop trusting in your flesh, the arm of your strength, your heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, it’s telling you things that are lies about God, lies about how to be a great success in this life. STOP listening to your flesh and the wisdom of the men of the world. STOP trusting in your own desperately wicked heart and trust the LORD.

BE BLESSED: You will always have what you NEED from the LORD, even when disaster strikes, you will continue to flourish.

Have an awesome weekend and SOAK in God.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

It’s funny how the ordinary things in life, like my withered tomato plant can teach us God’s TRUTH so that we can remember it forever.

When we turn away from the LORD (or neglect to do or be in His presence daily), we’re beginning to trust in the flesh for our Spiritual survival, we’re going to get dry, thirsty, parched. It will be like we’re all alone in a desert place, away from all that’s good. Don’t trust in the flesh or the strength of human wisdom, but turn again and trust in the LORD.

I need YOU LORD JESUS, every single day. Fill me up Lord. Amen.

Don.

Read: John 4: John 15, Luke 15, 1 John 3:16,

Especially the Woman at the Well: