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How to Persevere When Your Mountain Doesn’t Move

2. Do examine yourself as you persevere.

That isn’t a contradiction, although it might sound like one at first. The differences appear after a moment or two of thought. Connecting the dots is about causality, examining yourself is about consecration. Connecting the dots is forbidden by Jesus, examining yourself is commanded.

In the same passage in which Jesus promises that his people will be mountain movers through the power of prayer, he also speaks about ways in which we can impede that power. He says:

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 11:25 ESV)

Apparently, unforgiveness can impede our power in prayer.

So also can unconfessed sin. David says: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalms 66:18 KJV)

The Apostle Peter told husbands:

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7 ESV)

So if you persevere and lean on your mountain through prayer and nothing happens, then it is a good thing to look inside your own heart. If there is unforgiveness, then go and seek reconciliation. Extend grace and mercy. If there is unconfessed sin — then repent of it; turn from it and amend your ways. If you have been unkind and inconsiderate with your wife, go to her, own it and make it right. And when you’ve done all those things, then pray again — but not like a pagan.

3. Do not pray like a pagan; instead, persevere.

Some of us become little pagans when our initial prayers are not answered. We pray for something in the normal way and then if that prayer isn’t answered we become little pagans. We begin to pray like the prophets of Baal. During their showdown with Elijah, we are told that they:

called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. (1 Kings 18.26–28)

They prayed long. They prayed loud. They prayed in circles. They did funny things with their bodies. They limped about and they punished themselves — but to no avail.

The true God is not moved in such ways.

So don’t pray like that. Instead persevere. Jesus said not to. He said:

when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matt 6.7–8)

You don’t have to pray like a pagan to access the power of God through prayer. Spurgeon said:

“When I pray, I like to go to God just as I go to a bank clerk when I have [a] cheque to be cashed. I walk in, put the cheque down on the counter, and the clerk gives me my money, I take it up, and go about my business.” [1]

We don’t need to jump up and down, we don’t need to shout or dance or punish ourselves; we just walk up to the counter, present our credentials and make our requests known to God. You have a right to be there and Jesus has earned for you the right to be heard.

So don’t pray like a pagan when your mountain doesn’t move, but do keep on praying.

Paul Carter
Paul Carter
Paul is the happy husband of Shauna Lee and the proud papa of 5 beautiful children, Madison, Max, Mikayla, Peyton and Noa. He blogs over at The Gospel Coalition Canada and hosts a devotional podcast called Into The Word.

Gone Without a Trace: Understanding Ghosting and Its Emotional Impact

Ghosting is the act of abruptly ending all communication with someone without any explanation, leaving the person on the receiving end feeling confused, hurt, and often questioning what went wrong.

10 Fascinating Facts About Sleep Paralysis Demons That Will Help Shed Light on This Scary Phenomenon

Discover 10 intriguing facts about sleep paralysis demons. Learn what they are, if they can harm you, and explore their cultural significance.