Monday’s Ministry Encouragement: Written to encourage you, my friend in ministry, to be refreshed and renewed as we live for Christ and look toward the Bema.
And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. (Mark 6:46)
In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. (Luke 6:12)
Every once-in-awhile, I have to literally go to the mountain and get along with the Lord. Living in East Tennessee, there are many wonderful locations from which to choose.
Due to various ministry demands, the recent death of my father-in-law, a bit of a spiritual empty tank, and just needing the solitude, I made my way to one of my favorite areas along the Appalachian Trail.
After hiking up the mountain, I chose my spot and removed my backpack. With Bible and journal in hand, I just sat still for awhile and listened. The view was fabulous as always! The only sound was the distant rushing water cascading over the rocks way below.
Earlier that morning, I had read Psalm 88, so I used it for my template of praise and prayer.
O Lord, God of my salvation, I have cried out day and night before You. 2 Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry. 9 Lord, I have called daily upon You; I have stretched out my hands to You. 13 But to You I have cried out, O Lord, . . . And in the morning my prayer comes before You. (Psalm 88:1-2, 9, 13)
Thinking through the names of God and praising Him for Who He is led me to dwell on the blessed privilege of prayer; it’s preeminence, place and posture.
- Cry out day & night – vocal, needs, desperate, unceasing
- Before You – prayer is always before God; in His presence
- My cry – whatever is on my heart; whatever the need
- Cried, called, stretched out my hands – The heart, will, body, mind, emotions, voice . . . all involved in prayer.
Psalm 88 is considered one of the saddest psalms of them all. Spurgeon entitled a sermon from this psalm, “Heman’s Sorrowful Psalm.” As I read, I was struck that in the depths of his sorrow, his sadness, his pain, . . . he prayed.
Ministry friend, you may not live in the mountains, but I’m sure you can find a place of solitude to meet with God for a few hours to cry out to Him, to listen to Him, to stretch out your hands to Him, to be in His presence.
- Is your spiritual tank low? Go to the mountain.
- Do you have some major decision to make? Go to the mountain.
- Are you weary from the burdens of ministry? Go to the mountain.
- Have you been serving “with your foot to the pedal” for several weeks? Go to the mountain.
No man regrets getting alone with God “on the mountain.”