God Moves Mountains When Women Pray

Last year, I started keeping a list of prayer requests, dated and described, and then, to my great surprise — answers!  Clear direction for a son, help and success in a ministry opportunity, a new and wonderful job for my husband.  Reviewing the list from time to time, I’m reminded to give thanks, and I’m reinforced in my thinking that when it comes to prayer, there is always something new and fresh God wants me to know.

Women Who Move Mountains by Sue Detweiler is clear and comprehensive enough to serve as a primer on prayer for the uninitiated, but Sue has shared so many deeply insightful stories and has woven them so beautifully with Scripture that those who are further along on the journey will also find a rewarding read.  Twice in the gospels, Jesus talks with His disciples about mountains moving at their command.  Of course, this is not a matter of showcasing the disciples’ great faith, but rather, the power of God at work on behalf of those who believe.

I have been guilty of praying small and safe, so it was a challenge to hear Sue’s rallying cry to pray with confidence, boldness, and grace.  The book is set up with odd-numbered chapters covering real and raw stories of women who witnessed mountain-moving responses to their prayers, while even-numbered chapters pose questions based on living the principles here at ground level.

Belief in the ever-present, always-available Maker of Heaven and Earth is the foundation for a vibrant prayer life.  Unfortunately, fear, shame, anxiety, perfectionism, entitlement, and timidity often derail us in the mountain-moving life.  Staying close to Truth is transformational, and this becomes evident in the lives of women whose childhood wounds have been healed and whose “orphan mindset” has been replaced with assurance that in God’s eyes, they are a much-loved daughter.

Sue hammers on one truth about this following life that almost cannot be overstated:

“Just because you obey God does not mean that it will be smooth sailing forever and ever.”

Our obedience opens the door to God’s help and connects us to God’s plan, but prayer requires trust at every level.  Offsetting the vending-machine-God mentality, Sue reminds readers that Jesus suffered greatly in His time on this planet.  The following life is not lived above emotional pain and loss.  Women who feel like the walking wounded are encouraged to turn to God rather than blaming God for their wounds.

Biblical examples of women like Hannah who prayed for a child and Esther who prayed for the rescue of her people demonstrate that prayer is a powerful weapon, that it launches us into our destiny, and that — amazingly — it is as simple as a conversation in which we transparently come before God bearing “our stuff.”

Just as conversation builds relationship between people, prayer is a day-long interaction with God.  And since it is not simply prayer or my puny faith, but rather GOD who moves mountains, I want to press into that relationship and know the heart of this powerful God.  Indispensable to our prayer life is a right understanding of who He is, and Sue has shared rich Scriptural insights:

  1.  Jesus is uniquely equipped to comfort and strengthen us when we face rejection.  Remember what happened in Nazareth?  When He challenged the hometown crowd, they were ready to drive Jesus off a cliff!
  2. It’s an American idea that if God calls you to a task and if He is truly in it, then success always follows.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it well:  “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”  Some of our most enriching spiritual growth experiences come through failure.
  3. Jesus always had choice words of condemnation for the Pharisees in the crowd and set the example for us.  “Becoming a woman who moves mountains means you care more about what Jesus thinks than the Pharisees in your life.”

F.U.N.K. and H.O.P.E.

Sue employs a couple of creative acronyms to stimulate readers to prayer that results in renewed thinking and powerful life-change.  The next time you feel as if you are in a funk, realize that you are Floundering Under Negative Knowledge.  Everything that seems dark and wrong may be very true, but staying close to God’s truth fights the slide into the pit.

Likewise, when the dark tunnel seems endless, hope says, “Hold On, Pain Ends!”  God offers His hope when ours has long ago sputtered to a stop.

God-confidence gives perspective for the long haul of praying in light of God’s specific promises.  There is so much that He wants to do as He trains us in righteousness, so many good works, prepared beforehand, that are waiting for us who walk with Him. Thanks be to God that we have been invited to come before Him in confidence, boldness, and grace.

//

This book was provided by Bethany House via Interviews and Reviews in exchange for my review.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for over 25 years, and their four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

83 thoughts on “God Moves Mountains When Women Pray”

  1. Michele,
    With this faulty memory of mine, I love the acronyms F.U.N.K.- been there and done that. And, H.O.P.E. – hold on pain ends….Amen! Loved this reminder that I can come boldly and expectantly before the throne of grace. But, in order to do so….I need to practice first with the small stuff with regard to prayer. Good stuff!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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  2. Thank you for sharing. I loved and journaled “becoming a woman who moves mountains means you care more about what Jesus thinks than the Pharisees in your life.”

    I’m at a place in my writing, I believe a bend in the road that is becoming more God than me in every aspect…

    Yesterday, in church, we sang the Hymn, “You are worthy” and I kept thinking, is it possible my writing could be an act, a demonstration of my worship of Jesus?

    You’re so wise. Have you read or know of any scripture that might strengthen me in this thought and conviction from God?

    Thanks again, for this review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just ran into a Proverb that I want to share with one of my sons, but now that you mention it, it does apply to our writing life, and I’m thankful to have been steered in that direction by your comment. It’s Pr. 22:29: Do you see a man skilled in his work? He shall serve before kings. I tend to think of that as being a verse for my welder sons, but we are honing a craft as well, and we want to earn the right to be heard, to “expand our reach,” (or whatever the jargon is), but we also have to be mindful that we ultimately write for and serve before THE King who knows our hearts and our motives. Thanks, Lisanne, for reading and for taking the time to share your conviction.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Michele, This sounds like a wonderful book. I appreciate # 2 on the difference between the American idea versus the biblical idea of success and failure. Too often I too settle for “praying small and safe.” Thanks for sharing this.

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  4. I didn’t know Sue had a book published!! Now I’m so excited. Thank you for the helpful review and insight, Michele. Sounds wonderful. I especially appreciated this point this morning: “since it is not simply prayer or my puny faith, but rather GOD who moves mountains, I want to press into that relationship and know the heart of this powerful God.”

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  5. I love that her book is broad enough to reach both those new to prayer plus those who have been praying for years. I used to think something wasn’t sufficiently prayed for unless I mentioned it during my devotional prayer time – it was a major breakthrough to me when I realized I could talk to God all through the day, that prayer time didn’t have to be crammed into that one section of time. I used to keep lists of prayer requests and answers – I should probably do that again. Sometimes we don’t realize just how much God is actually answering.

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    1. What a great reminder that we don’t have to schedule appointments with God! It’s great to have a focused time, but then also to remember that He is always available and listening.

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  6. “Just because you obey God does not mean that it will be smooth sailing forever and ever.”

    What???

    Oh yeah, I knew that. But I kept hoping it was true! It’s a constant battle to remember that what I define as success is not always what He defines as success. He sees the big picture – I can’t even imagine it.

    I’m working on recording prayers – and answers – too. I find my memory is way too short!

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    1. Ha! I see you have the same theological struggles that I do! And we do have a tendency to accept God’s good answers without saying thank you, so that in itself is a great reason for list-keeping!

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  7. One of our songs at church yesterday was about God moving mountains! As we were singing, I spotted a friend who had tried to have a baby for years but couldn’t get pregnant, and now she is 6 months along with her first baby. God DOES still move mountains indeed.

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  8. The “boldly praying” versus the “careful praying” has always been a struggle for me. I don’t see it as a lack of faith, but rather an ultimate faith that God knows what’s best anyway, so how in the world do I know what to pray for? I put this book on my Amazon list because honestly – this is a tough one for me.
    Thanks for another excellent review.

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  9. Thanks for sharing about this book- your review definitely makes me want to read it! I loved the insights you shared here and the reminder that the fact that we’re obeying God doesn’t guarantee that everything will go smoothly.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This sounds like such a great study on prayer! And the lay-out sounds so appropriate and right for a more complete look at personal glimpses of prayer alongside the study chapters. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. I love this acronym Floundering Under Negative Knowledge and it is a good one to cling onto even when prayers do not seem to be getting answered because we may not know what God is doing behind the scenes.

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  12. I love those acronyms – that always makes it easier to remember things!
    I have been doing the same thing – writing down prayer requests & then rejoicing when the answers come! What a powerful way to be able to look back and see God at work!

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    1. Glad to know that you’re also keeping a record of prayer requests — and answers. This — along with my gratitude journal — help to keep me in a place of thankfulness more of the time than I used to be.

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  13. I have not heard of that book, thanks for the review. And for sharing those great acronyms! Something to link this old brain to is always a help. So glad you shared this in my link-up this week!! Have a blessed day, dear!

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  14. Your book reviews are going to keep me in the poor house! I need to step-up my prayer life, and this book sounds like one that will help with that. I love the acronyms. Even without reading the book, they can help when Satan is prowling around like a roaring lion.

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  15. Hi Michele … I love that you keep a list AND especially that you note the answers. I get the feeling God’s sending many more graces our way than we fully acknowledge and give Him credit for.

    I’m appreciating your gentle reminder to take note, to be faithful in prayer.

    Blessings on you today …

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  16. I love what you and LisaAnne shared about writing for the King. One thing that struck me was that obedience doesn’t necessarily bring ease. My husband and I have been walking through some difficult things and we just keep trekking along knowing this is part of the journey. Ease isn’t promised. Joy in the Lord is…. 🙂

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    1. As I began reading Sue’s book, the upbeat tone of the forward (written by someone else) gave me a queasy feeling at first — I was afraid that the book was going to tell me to “name it and claim it” and my life would be rosy if only I prayed the right words, etc. Thank heavens that is NOT the message of the book, because it is NOT the reality here on the ground. Thanks for your shared TRUTH about joy in the midst of hard times, Char. Trusting along with you that your journey will continue in joy.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I’ve learned over the years that obedience probably means choppy waters ahead!! 😉 Not always, but goodness, it seems that way sometimes. I’ve learned to not obey expecting reward but expecting sanctification and death to self. And to love the deeper reward of spiritual strength, peace, wisdom, and so forth.

    Thanks, Michele, for sharing your wonderful review at #LMMLinkup!

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    1. This is wisdom,Brandi – If only we could keep that mindset all the time. There are deep lessons to be gained through hard times, but we forget when we are traveling through them sometimes. Thanks for this reminder.

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  18. It sounds like a great book! What a unique way to lay out the chapters :). I have definintely discovered that following Jesus doesn’t promise me prosperity–it promises me adventures and a constant presence along the way (even if I’m walking through dark valleys).

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  19. This looks like a wonderful book. I always need encouragement for prayer. I like those acronyms, especially F.U.N.K. 🙂 I hada the privilege of meeting Sue last year when I was in Dallas. She is a power house!

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  20. Visiting from Coffee and Conversation. Thank you so much for bringing this book to our attention. I asked God when I was a young woman to teach me how to pray and he has been ever since. This is one more answer to my prayer.

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  21. Thank you for sharing this book review! I recently started an answered prayers journal as well. In addition to my prayer life, I created an “answered prayers” chart (I discovered this on Pinterest). I write out my prayer requests, and as my prayers are answered, I include the date of the answered prayers. It’s amazing to see God working in my life!

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  22. Floundering Under Negative Knowledge. Love that! It’s going to stick with me as a reminder that I can change that FUNK by resting on the truth of the Word of God!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Floundering Under Negative Knowledge. That is so descriptive and yet true. This sounds like a wonderful book. I was part of a bible study and we kept prayer journals, and it was eye opening to see how many prayers were answered. And often in ways we never even had thought of. Love to see how God changes us and those around us through prayer.

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  24. Prayer is my focus this year, Michele, so this is timely for me. I’m currently reading Timothy Keller’s book on prayer – highly recommended- but this title just may be next in line. Thanks for the review!

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  25. Just had to toss this in – the women I know who move mountains with prayer are my Super Women. Not a one of them can fly or wears tight corseted costumes either. 🙂

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  26. an excellent review – I know who to buy it for! but I’m also one for puny prayers at times. right now I need some mountains moved post-haste so waiting and storming the gates and asking God to do what He does best! also, i love that thought about failure/success. Was feeling funky this week due to some surmised or real fails, but will trust God continually or intermittently as best I can!(: Thanks, michele!

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    1. I also have a tendency to interpret things as “failures” and then to slide into the corresponding funky place. So glad that you read the review and were inspired by Sue D’s good thinking.

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  27. This sounds like a book I would really enjoy, Michele. I am a huge believer in the power of prayer, and of how important it is for women to pray for their families and the wider world. Thank you so much for sharing this post with us at Hearth and Soul.

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  28. This sounds like a good read Michele. I still can’t believe how many books you get through. My problem is falling asleep when I start read. Of course, I usually don’t take the time for reading until I’m in bed. Time to slow down for some Summer reading.

    Anyhoo, list keeping is awesome. I journal with my (mostly) daily Scripture reading and it has been powerful to look back on past answers to prayer. I have one little pink journal now that is solely for the prayers I’m praying for my daughters. I believe that one day the words in it will become a testimony to God’s greatness.
    Thanks friend,
    Patti

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    1. Ha! I have been hit in the face with a good many books as I read in bed (and with my Kindle). Don’t give up! And that little pink journal is sure to be an heirloom of grace one day. Believing along with you for this!

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  29. All I can say through my tears this morning is “Thank You!” I have been praying for 3 years for God to move a mountain which has created such a source of pain. And in the discouraging moments, I often wonder if it is a prayer God still answers. And then I realize all of the chiseling and shaping He does in my own heart while the mountain still stands.

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    1. I hear you so well. We forget that the waiting is also an answer to our heart’s cry. And that God is just as present in that space as He is when we see the mountain moving. Blessings to you, Crystal, and thanks for sharing your insights as you read.

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  30. The acronyms are helpful for me too.
    “Just because you obey God does not mean that it will be smooth sailing forever and ever.” – this is something I think is harder for younger people, especially when they’re up against the whole ‘success’ mantra that is prevalent in culture & church. I was talking to someone the other day about this & they mentioned the passage in Hebrews 11 where it talks about those who died without ever having received what was promised.

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  31. Sounds like a fabulous book. Reminds me a bit of the “What Happens When Women Pray” by Evelyn Christensen. An oldy but goody that I read as a young wife and mama.

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    1. I read that book when I was in high school, and I have had it in my mind as well as I’ve shared Sue’s book. It’s nice to know that someone else remembers Evelyn Christensen fondly!

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