There was a time, a few years ago, when traveling by air was not as affordable as now with so many cost-effective airlines. The most frequently used means of traveling for me to conferences was either by bus or train. I preferred the train for a lesser bumpy ride and it would also give me the opportunity to peep through the window bars and watch the creation of God unfold before me as we passed through mountains and fields.
I was always enraptured the most by the mountains. Reading stories about how Moses talked with God on the mountain top would leave me standing in wonder at the sight of a mountain. And often, I wished I was on top of one of those mountains that were covered with the clouds.
Talk about being careful about what you wish for! Well, that’s exactly what happened when I was 19. I was invited to study at the Kodaikanal Christian College in Kodaikanal. I also had the privilege of serving as a Chaplain at the college while I was pursuing my studies. The college is halfway on a mountaintop and my hostel room was right on top of the mount with an amazing view outside my window. Every day I used to walk up to my room along this beautiful scenic wonder and it is a memory that I will always cherish. Those 3 years gave me an opportunity to seek the Lord like never before.
The phrase, a ‘Mountain Top Experience’ has been quoted from instances in the Bible where Old Testament prophets like Moses, Elijah, and even Jesus in the New Testament went to the mountain top to pray. A Mountain Top Experience is much more beyond mere positions or pattern of prayer. I’d like to share with you a few lessons that we can learn from their passion to pray in our daily life.
A Selfless Experience
One of the important things we need to do in our prayer is to identify our motives. Every time Moses went up the mountain it was for God’s purpose more than his. God called Moses up the mountain to speak to the Israelites. Every time Jesus went to prayer it was about the will of the Father for humanity.
A mountain top experience is a very selfless experience but somehow our generation has been convinced otherwise and has come to believe that prayer is about the blessings we can receive. It is about praying, ‘yet not my will but Yours be done. ‘
Notice that when you climb up the mountain, you are leaving behind your camp, your situations, your life, and the whole perspective changes to that of a bird’s view. It is no more about how you see things but about how God see things. When you are in the presence of God, the problems may not have changed below but how you see the problem will change.
POA (Plan of Action): Identify your motives in prayer; crucify your flesh by surrendering to God’s desires over your desires. Tune out of your world, your emotions and tune yourself to hearing from God.
A Heart and Might Experience
Very often, we focus so much about loving God with all our heart and mind but the greatest commandment is not complete with loving God with just our heart and mind but it also includes, “with all your might” Deut 6: 5
Three years of my mountain top experience has taught me that climbing up the mountain requires a lot of energy. It was only once that I tried mountain trekking with my Founder Chairman Dr. Sam Abraham, ever since every time he asked me if I wanted to trek, I opted to pray for him as he trekked!
As a preacher, I know how tiring it is to come back home after a fiery sermon and after praying for everyone waiting there but Jesus waited till He prayed for everyone and then, go up the mountain to pray. I am sure Jesus had a longer prayer line having raised a few dead people back to life! (Mathew 14: 22, 23). Remember, Jesus got tired as you and me while on earth, but He knew the importance of prayer.
What really interests me about Jesus, even at Gethsemane, is that though He knew that the 3 disciples were exhausted, tired and that their spirit was willing yet their flesh was weak and that their eyes were heavy, He went up to them three times to see if they were praying. (Mark 14: 34 – 41) This clearly shows that we must have our life disciplined for prayer and that too, in top priority!
POA: Identify your excuses, get rid of them, no more compromise, recommit to your prayer time, this time with all your might!
An Undistracted Experience
For those who enjoy trekking and hiking up mountainous terrains, I’m sure you understand the beauty of silence. Now, it is also a fact that to have a distraction-free location is a rarity, especially when our greatest distractions are with us in the form of computers, mobiles, television etc.
But then, that is the beauty of the Mountain Top Experience! We must learn to break free from everything that distracts us from God. It’s a choice that you make. Beyond the distractions around us, we need to discipline our minds by taking efforts to be focused in prayer. A person after God’s heart must make it a habit to get away from the normal routines to seek God. [tweet this]
POA: Identify your distractions and re-prioritize your prayer times. Refocus in prayer, this time with all your mind!
The key is simply this, let us draw near to God in full assurance of faith, guiltless and as we draw near to God and He will draw near to us. James 4: 8 says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
So let us draw to Him, this very day, right now with all our heart, mind and might!