I had been warned that it was cooler in the mountains, so I wore long pants and a quarter length sleeve. A light drizzle started as we approached the Blue Ridge Parkway, so we ate our picnic lunch in the car. I knew the mountains held the last of the mountain laurels and this would be my last chance to see them. We traveled through a light fog that grew increasingly more dense as we climbed the mountain. By the time we arrived at Craggy Gardens, a beautiful mountain spot with hiking trails through a canopy of mountain laurels, blueberry bushes and breath-taking vistas, the fog was horrible. We couldn’t see past the hood of our vehicle, much less any views or flowers. We turned around in the parking lot and began our descent. The effects of fog are minimal unless I’m driving, but when I’m driving all I can think is “please….not while I’m driving”.
I was on the lookout for the numerous motorcyclists and motorists that were there for the same reason we were. But I was most concerned about the cyclist with straining, rippling leg muscles that pumped and pedaled and strained up the steep road way. It is beyond my ability to understand why anyone would want to cycle up a mountain…crazy…just plain crazy. My daughter in law is a mountain cyclist, so maybe they’re not all crazy. I sat on the edge of my seat trying to see through the thick fog while Wayne slowly and so very carefully crept down the mountain, around the curves, trying to stay on the right side of the yellow line that marked the center of the road. I wasn’t trying to see the unique orange rhododendrons any longer. I was no longer interested in the stately Queen Anne’s Lace that lined the roadway. I wasn’t listening for wood peckers or the chirps of redbirds. I was looking at the road, my focus, and helping Wayne see. I’m not sure he actually wanted my help, but he got it anyway. There is a special crown set up in heaven for Wayne just for putting up with me. (I found that in the book of Jasper too! LOL)
Of course, you know me. I was praying! Yes, one of those “I am so glad I’m a believer right now, help me prayers.” Watching and praying takes on a new meaning when you are trying to stay where you belong on a mountain road with zero visibility. Then suddenly, the fog lifted. One second there was fog and the next it was gone. I blinked my eyes in disbelief. Where had all the fog gone?
The thing that made this event particularly interesting to me, was the minister’s wife comments at the service that morning. Before she made announcements, she briefly encouraged the people with insight that God had share with her that week. “When you begin to pray about something, your prayer is very broad and unfocused. But as you continue to pray, if you continue to pray, without giving up, your focus will narrow and you’ll begin to see clearly how to pray and what the real need is in the situation.
Then within an hour of leaving church, the fog we drove through illustrated and illuminated her words. When we began our assent up that mountain road, I lacked focus. I was trying to see everything and anything, but by the time I arrived where we were going, I had a single focus—the road. Then suddenly the fog lifted and I could see clearly where I was going.
The illustration reminded me that our walk with God is just that, a journey that requires putting one foot in front of another. Sometimes we see and sometimes we just trust Him until we can see. The progress is not made via two wheeled or four wheeled vehicles, but on prayers and faith, God’s Word and obedience. It’s accomplish through the strength of relationship with Him that empowers and guides. Seeing and hearing things that only His Spirit can reveal.
John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. NLT
His influence and direction is also available for our prayer time. As we journey with God, talking and walking out every day life with Him, He wants to bring clarity and focus to our prayer life. It is very important that we learn to slow down in our prayer time and to pay attention to what God has to say. Our prayers move from God bless me and my kids and my husband to specific prayer seeds that we want God to grow in their lives and those in our prayer circle.
We understand the faults or weaknesses we see in them, is not to criticize or man-handle, but to stand-in the gap for them with prayer; with prayers that access the bountiful supplies of God. We see to pray, not to say something. We see to believe God to minister life in particular areas. We see things to seek God for refreshing, correction, life, peace,victory as only He can provide.
Sometimes, as I pray for situations, I hear my self pray things that surprise me. Often, I’ve thought, Yes, Lord, that’s what they need.” Or “yes, Father, I really blew it, but I didn’t see it that way before. Forgive me. Thank you for allowing me to see this situation more clearly.”
Sometimes, I don’t know how to pray. I seem to pick at the symptoms without attacking the root of the problem. So often conflicts and situations are clouded with emotions and actions that camouflage the real problem. God wants our prayers to attack the root, not the fruit…and definitely not the person. We can’t pray that way without the help of the Holy Spirit.
I don’t know about you, but God doesn’t dole out many Band-Aids to me. Most of the time, He prods me to deal with the root of the problem, because He wants me whole and complete. Wholeness, peace and joy are God’s agenda for your life and those in your prayer circle. That’s why we need His help when we pray.
Have you ever had a situation where God narrowed your prayer focus? Please share it with us.