The disciples said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” [Matthew 17:19-20 ESV]
This can be a difficult passage if one interprets Jesus' words to his disciples literally.
Many read these words and do not understand that Jesus is speaking in a hyperbolically.
The imagery of seeds and mountains paints a picture about the role of faith in prayer.
In my view, he is not speaking about what we say but about what we pray.
In a few words he teaches us that great obstacles can be removed when we pray.
The message of this passage is that even the smallest of faith can be effectual.
The fact of the matter is that God is the only one who can remove mountainous obstacles.
Consequently, I think that he must always be the focus of our faith and of our prayers.
When we pray our desire should first be to see the coming of his kingdom and will on earth.
If our faith, even great faith, is directed in any other direction it will fall short.
Yet if our small seed-like faith is focused on God it will accomplish much.
Obstacles to our spiritual growth will be moved and nothing will be impossible in prayer.
Help me to stay focused on you Lord - in difficult times and in ones not so hard.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.