I promised in an earlier post, here, that I would write more extensively about the concept of a “mountain prayer” later, so here it is, and it begins with this:
Stop chasing what’s easy and be brave.
Big words, right? Maybe I should start by defining what “easy” is…but I think that’d be too simplistic and doing you a disservice. Instead, I invite you to take a moment of self-reflection and see what floats to the surface. What’s easy? What’s a mountain?
This has become a subtle mantra for me lately. I’ve been asked to do things that scare me – like speak to a private school to students, faculty and parents about prayer. I’ve chosen to do things that scare me – rock climb a little higher than my mind thinks is possible. I’ve been led in prayer to mountains that I didn’t know existed in my heart and mind – andlet others in on the mountains asking them to journey alongside me.
It is scary. And it is exhilarating and transforming. When I do what’s easy, I’m still in control. When I stop and make a decision that takes bravery and courage, I am no longer in control of the results. What if I fail? What if I fall? What if people get mad at me or think less of me? What if I pray a big prayer and God doesn’t answer like I think He will?
But then again –
What if I make it to the top of a rock wall and back down just fine, teeming with adrenaline?
What if God’s light shines more brightly in and around me?
What if truth is heard and known and loved more?
What if others are invited to be brave too?
What if my failure does more in me than a success ever could?
What if God does more than all I ask or imagine?
What if I get to invite others into the brokenness and beauty of being a disciple?
Well, there is that possibility too.
Here’s where the “mountain prayer” comes in. It’s praying for 40 or 45 straight days that God will move a mountain in your life or around you. (Based on Matthew 21:21) Now, it’s not the only thing you’re praying about, but it’s a simple and consistent one sentence type prayer that you are asking God for daily. Asking, not telling, Him how to do it or what you think this should look like, just simply depending, trusting, and asking consistently. Then waiting, and seeing what happens.
It’s a little scary, right? Because, what if He doesn’t….what if nothing happens…? I think we ask those questions in our finite understanding of an infinite God.
Because really? The point in prayer is about getting someone, more than it is about something.
What do the promises of scripture say?
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matt. 7:8-11)
“He is able to do far more abundantly that all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations!” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Stop chasing what’s easy and be brave. Find a friend or mentor or small group to do this with. Pray a mountain prayer with them. Ask a friend to pray for and with you. Don’t be surprised if the mountain is unveiled as something else underneath or it’s not what you expect, or if God does a harder and deeper work than what you actually asked for. It won’t look how you expect anyways because you aren’t God – He is infinite, you are finite. He is also trustworthy.
Be brave. Be honest. And, mostly? Don’t journey alone.
Check out this more in depth article on “the 45 day mountain prayer”.