Spiritual Development Plan: The Role of Scripture and Prayer in Overcoming Your Mountain
I became a Christian counselor because I understand the necessity of faith and prayer in overcoming sin and other life challenges. Throughout my teenage and young adult years, I spent countless hours in therapy with various different practitioners who used therapeutic models and counseling perspectives born from the intellect of man. In my case, although I had a false sense of “working on” my problems, I never got better. In fact, the mountains in my life became more numerous and menacing over time. It wasn’t until I cultivated a close relationship with God and placed Him at the center of my efforts that I found the wisdom and power to overcome those things that had previously been my undoing.
Whether you are struggling with depression, anxiety, loss, betrayal, relationship crisis, addiction, or any number of hurts, habits, and hang-ups, sometimes there just isn’t a pill you can take, a book you can read, or a counselor – no matter how gifted – who can alone “move your mountain into the sea.” As a Christian counselor, I am all about helping you grow your faith so that you become the mountain-mover that God has called you to be!
Struck by Lightning?
People facing all kinds of troubling circumstances will stumble across this article. Some of you are new Christians desperate to navigate through the aftermath of the old life; some of you are experienced believers, mature and steady, but you feel like you were just struck by lightning; and others are old-timers who just sort of drifted away from God’s daily presence in the absence of calamity. And then you got hit.
Any one of you might be thinking, with rage, panic or both, “God, where are you?”
No matter what your situation or the state of your walk with God, in order to take on a mountain in your life, you’re going to need to be assured of a few things:
God is With You
For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter), that He may abide with you forever. – John 14:16
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. – James 4:8
While walking through the storms of life, we will lose heart if we are not certain of the presence of God and His interest in us. We need to know that we and our problem are on His radar. How can we know this when our feelings suggest He is a million of miles away?
The nearness of God is not a feeling. It is a reality. As believers, we ought to know that this is what the Word of God teaches and we can trust it. If we don’t have this fact in our “knower” then we must feed it to ourselves all day, every day, until it sticks.
He is Aware of Your Pain
Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; – Genesis 16:13
You number my wanderings; put my tears in your bottle; are they not in Your book? – Psalm 56:8
For He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden his face from him, but has listened to his cry for help. – Psalm 22:24
Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me. – Isaiah 49:15-16
The Bible tells us that God is omniscient or all-knowing. All means all. No matter how insignificant, unworthy, or invisible you think or feel you are, God assures you in the Bible that nothing could be further from the truth. He sees you. He sees your loved ones. He sees it all. If you don’t know that without a shadow of doubt, then you would do well to meditate daily on the scriptures that reinforce this fact. Mountain-moving faith requires it.
Prayer Changes Things
You need to know that prayer changes things. You know, the frightening, enraging, hurtful, hellish things that happen sometimes.
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. – James 5:13-16
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And we know that if He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. – 1 John 5:14
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! – Matthew 7:11
Yet you do not have because you do not ask. – James 4:2
Not praying leaves you with mere human cunning and chance. You can’t do this by yourself, can you? By all means, ask.
The Lord Will Strengthen You
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:29-31
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1
When a mountain erupts in your life, you can suddenly feel very small. Very confused. Very powerless. Perhaps you’ve been wrestling with your mountain for an exceedingly long time and you are mentally, emotionally, or physically exhausted. This is never truer than when you are trying to fight solely with your own wisdom and might. The Bible clearly states that apart from God we can do nothing (John 15:5), but with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26 and Mark 10:27). What mountain-movers need to do is exchange their depleted human power for supernatural God-power. How does God do it? We don’t know, it’s a mystery. But if you will give your concerns to Him and wash your mind with the water of the Word until your faith grows, He promises to increase your strength.
I can do all thing through Christ who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13
He Will Calm Your Fears
I sought the Lord, and He answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. – Psalm 34:4
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. – Isaiah 26:3
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. – 1 John 4:18
When you know that you know that you know that you are loved by your heavenly Father, then you can be assured that He only has good plans for you, to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). When you are not confident in this, then you are subject to fear and terror when mountains loom. The only way to know God’s love is to get really close to Him and stay there – in other words, spend time with Him talking to Him, reading His Word, and building up your faith in every way possible.
You Are Promised Victory
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. – Romans 8:36
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. – James 4:7
When the symptoms in your body persist, cravings are not abating, or circumstances don’t seem to budge, believing there is victory ahead can seem like a pipe dream. Furthermore, you likely know believers who did not receive their specified victory this side of heaven and this threatens your conviction. Yet victory over the devil, sickness, and calamity is promised by God; healing is the “children’s bread.” Now sometimes when we pray and believe, we don’t get the desired outcome, the miracle is delayed, or the answer is “no.” We can’t always understand or explain that, and it is very disappointing, or worse, devastating. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him!” (Job 13:15) You must place your needs and desires in God’s hands and trust His infinite wisdom, unfathomable love for you, and His timing. Whatever mountain you are facing, there is every reason to “set your face like flint” and go for it!! Entrust the outcome to God.
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. – 2 Corinthians 2:14
The Word of God is Trustworthy
Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105
He sent His Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. – Psalm 107:20
So shall My Word be that goes forth out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void – without producing any effect, useless – but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. – Isaiah 55:11 AMP
And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. – Revelations. 12:11
In John 1:1 we see these words: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. What a potent and incredible fact! Accordingly, we can have absolute confidence in anything God has said because it is essentially the equivalent of God Himself. When you petition God in keeping with His will, take your stand on His promises, and infuse your prayers with His sayings, God hears and acts, demons flee, and mountains move!
Faith Moves Mountains
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. – James 5:4
“According to your faith let it be to you.” – Matthew 9:29
By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. – Hebrews 11:11
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. – Mark 11:22-23
To take on the challenge of your mountain, you must pray in faith. In Romans 10:17, we are taught that our faith grows when we continually hear the Word of God. Without a steady diet of scripture, faith becomes weak and shriveled. There are occasions to pour out your heart to God in your own words, but when it’s time to get down to mountain-moving business, speak God’s words back to Him in prayer. Those kinds of prayers prosper and produce effect!
Christian Counseling Can Help
When a mountain wreaks havoc on your life, I am here to provide support, guidance, and encouragement to you. Together we can assess where you are at spiritually and make sure you get on track and are equipped for the challenge at hand. Anxiety or depression may crop up as you walk it out, and you will need some practical strategies for addressing it, as well as a shoulder to lean on.
“Mountain Moving,” courtesy of sebadelval, pixabay.com, CC0 Public Domain License; “Life’s Storms,” courtesy of AgencjaAIAC, pixabay.com, CC0 Public Domain License; “His Word,” courtesy of jclk8888, pixabay.com, CC0 Public Domain License; “Jump for Joy,” courtesy of Pexels, pixabay.com, CC0 Public Domain License