40 Days on the Mountain!

blog by Patty Spykstra

The last several blogs have been highlighting wedding celebrations; such joyous occasions in the midst of these days. Tim and I recently had our anniversary and I couldn’t help recalling how we started out living in a one-bedroom place, with few belongings, in a new location and unknown plans for the future, yes full circle.

Our life here in South Africa residing at Oceans Retreat Center reminded me of those early years of marriage 33 years ago. Today-as way back in the 80’s-the roadmap we thought we had in place didn’t quite go as planned. When COVID arrived, once again our plans were rerouted. As flights shut down, work shut down, people came down with the virus; fear and uncertainty abounded throughout the world.

As a staff we busied ourselves with projects: painting, sewing curtains, yard work, cleaning, paperwork, policies and procedures. Ministry was adjusted to providing for those in need of food and to supporting other ministries and pastors in the area. We continued our weekly staff and prayer meetings. Each of us varied by the day how we dealt with COVID and then it struck us: perhaps God was calling us to 40 days of prayer, and perhaps since we already had several copies of Climbing Prayer Mountain and the author happened to live on campus, perhaps God was prompting us to journey into His presence, for such a time as this. So that is what we did!

Today marks Day 102 of lockdown and the conclusion of 40 days of Climbing Prayer Mountain. As a staff we met twice a week and then were blessed to have Mike and Dawn joined us via technology on Thursdays. What a powerful time we experienced together, gathering to study and pray. We sat in the Compass Room with Elsie’s Peak in full view on sunny days, and on rainy days we wore our jackets and were surrounded by clouds. We gleamed spiritual truths from Moses, Elijah, Jesus, and Peter and John.  These men at one time sat atop Mt. Herman, known as the Mt. of Transfiguration, and encountered the glorious presence and power of Almighty God!

Finding Prayer Mountain Anywhere, Day 37 speaks of John, the disciple who witnessed miraculous signs and wonders as a follower of Jesus. Now many years later he continues to face hardships, spending his last years locked-up and separated from his people. Despite his circumstances he continued to travel the path of Prayer Mountain with a heart and spirit of prayer. John learned that interceding with the Father could happen anytime and anywhere, no matter how bleak or uncertain the situation. His prayers and worship opened up the heavens and brought him revelations of Jesus as the victorious King who was, and is and will forever rule all creation. What a testimony to us in these days!

Take heart! We too can transform this lockdown lifestyle into a place of praise and worship as we seek the face of our Father God and encounter King Jesus our forever victory!

“I am the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end,” say the Lord God. “I am the One who is, who always was, and who is still to come, the Almighty One,” (Rev. 1:8).

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