A Time to Pray
Sometimes it takes a mountain to hear God’s voice. It was only 4-5 years ago but it’ll be a day I will never forget. Much like I had done many times before, I woke up early and hiked miles in the dark to a specific point for the search of a bull elk. The night before, however, down poured rain and it was already cold and in the low 40’s. As I hiked to my hillside destination in the dark my jacket and pants began to consume the water that covered everything. Even my Gortex jacket began to get heavy from my natural perspiration and the outside water. I was wet on the inside and outside of my clothes and as an outdoorsman this is not a good thing. Hours had passed and the sunrise was just beginning to crack over the horizon but so was the sharp morning wind.
The hill-scape began to lighten up with the sunrise and my attention fixed on looking for elk changed to my wet cold body. I was trying to ignore what I needed most which was warmth. Then to top it off, it began to sleet and then snow.
I was being so stubborn and everything was telling me to get off that mountain. I pushed and fought through the numbness and began to look for kindling to start a fire. There wasn't a dry piece of anything as far as I could see. I even tried using my MRE food heater to warm my core anxiously sticking it under my clothes. Everything was wet and nothing was good enough to get me warm but the thought of the hunt was still in the front of my mind.
I knew that if I could just push through the cold that the Elk would come out on the ridge and I didn’t want to give up. Then there was that feeling of need and I wanted help. I was on that mountain physically and emotionally hurting. I remember laying down huddled under a tree and the way my hands and feet hurt. The thought of stubborn stupidity of me trying to stick it through.
My focus went from my individual want and search to everything else around me. For a moment the sun peeked through holes in the clouds and its rays shined on the fresh snow all over the mountains. I could see for endless miles and in this moment, I remember anxiously asking for God to make me warm. “Lord, will you keep me warm! I am so cold… Will you please help, Lord!?”
This was my prayer as I sat on the hill and then the clouds came together and the little bit of sun I had, disappeared. It was in that moment as I looked over the mountains that I needed to surrender and get up. Enough was enough and God was clearly saying “not today!”
I picked up all my wet gear, slung it on my back and slowly began to walk out. I was so cold I had thoughts I might not make it back to camp. Then the sun came out and started drying the leaves and grass that I was walking through. Even the dusting of snow everywhere had started to melt on my walk back. I remember being about ½ a mile from the trailhead and this warmth and comfort came over me and a nudge to look back on the hillside.
He Called Me on the Mountain
I turned back and grabbed my binoculars and glassed over where I had been sitting previously. Within 50 yards of where I reluctantly left, the herd of elk where out grazing. For some reason I was ok with everything and I was content, I was warm. There would be another day and God would say “today is the day.”
Sometimes we are lonely, selfish, prideful, ignorant, and impatient. Sometimes we know better and only in our times of deepest need do we truly ask for God to help. Now I don’t believe that the mountain itself had anything spiritual to do with my moment of surrender. What I do believe is that the moment away from all the world and selfish distractions let me lean on God in a way I never had. That day on the mountain was a moment God used to call me out and remind me that I need Him.
This August we have an opportunity to join together on the mountain with loved ones and pray for our family and friends near and far. To pray over our Communities, Government, and even someone who has been in our heart that needs to know God on an intimate level. This August we get to bring prayer to the mountain and ask our Lord for his help, strength, protection, humility, guidance, comfort and steadfast love without all the cold or rain.
This August at Sunset
I would love to invite you and your families to join me and my friends at the Badger Mountain Trailhead. Some of us will make the journey to the top and others will join at the bottom but this experience is to disconnect from the distractions, surrender together and let God do the talking. There is no prayer to small or too big so bring your request to the Mountain. I hope to see you there.
If you can't make the prayer summit and have a prayer request, please go here
and someone on our prayer team will pray for you.