Sunday, October 02, 2011

Come with me: A Virtual Prayer Hike

I love the new prayer hike that's been set up on the CORASON lands so much that I thought I would share a virtual hike with you all. I'd love it if you could be here to feel the hot sun, see the amazing panoramic views and feel the physical exertion of this prayer hike but hopefully you can get a glimpse of what it's like and can pray these points for your own city! Thanks to Jenny Brown with the Latin Link mission for putting this together.

The hike starts right above a sports pitch where club CORASON meets on Tuesday afternoon for outdoor games and sports. You can see the ruins right above you. They are covered with a bizarre wooden framing (not sure of the purpose). It'll take you about five minutes to get to them but it's a bit steep so catch your breath.

1. The Ruins
We Confess our sin - that we have not loved you as we should, that we have not cared for others or your world as we could have, that we have not fought for justice, that we have been complacent.
The ruins remind us of the judgement of God (eg Isaiah 5). From here we can also see many new buildings being constructed. Think of Jesus' parable of the builders. (Luke 6:46-49)

From here you can see the first summit above you. Here comes the hardest part of the hike with about 20 minutes of upward hiking. Thankfully, there is a pretty well worn path and you can see lots of beautiful flowers along the way.
2. Summit One
We Open our hearts and minds to your forgiveness and love and to the work of your Spirit in our lives. Help us to hear your voice today.
We find many people encountering God on mountain tops - eg Abraham (Genesis 22), Moses (Exodus 24), Peter, John & James with Jesus (Luke 9:28-36; 2 Peter 1:16-18). Pray that you will be open to God as you spend time with Him today. (Isaiah 6:1-8)

Up on the summit you can see an impressive view of Cusco all spread out in the valley beneath you. It's a wonderful place to remember the God who loves Cusco and continues to work His work there. Up here you'll come across various burnt out fire pits where sacrifices to mother earth have been performed, a humbling reminder that we are in a spiritual war against the powers of Satan.

From this point we'll walk down just a bit to our right in the direction of the next summit. It's a beautiful walk between the two summits and we'll stop at the base of the next summit for our next prayer point.

3. Fissure in the ground
We Remember that you call us to unity - heal our divisions and bring unity to your church.
The large cracks in the ground are a reminder of disunity. Cusco was once called "the graveyard of pastors" due to many failed ministries. We thank God that this is no longer the case but we still need to pray for leaders here and unity (John 17:20-25). Pray for many churches to come and pray on this mountain, and for people who are not yet Christians to meet God here too. (Isaiah 19:23-25, Is 40; 66:18)

I'm really not sure what these cracks and big tracks in the ground come from but it's a good reminder to pray for unity. Now it's time to climb up the next summit. Thankfully it's not as taxing as the last and will only take about ten minutes. On the way up you can notice that the vegetation is slightly different and there are lots of shells from snails! Here we are at the top and the view is spectacular!

4. Summit 2 - Overlooking Cusco
We Ask that your kingdom of love, joy and peace come to this community, the city and this country, and that you would provide the necessities for those who are struggling.
Right beside the mountain at CORASON we have problems with poverty, alcohol, poor education, poor health and nutrition, dishonesty and corruption. (Is 42:1-9, Is 58)

The view here is even better but sometimes people do irresponsible things like letting fires get out of hand. This mountain top is currently a little burnt out. But there is green growing and life under the burnt plants a testimony to the faithfulness of God's work. There is always hope, always green, and always new life! From here we walk down to the right towards a line of trees.

5. Beside the trees
We Stand in your spiritual armor against the forces of evil, rooted in your Word - for our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers in the spiritual realm.
In Cusco we see ancient Andean beliefs and superstitions mixed with legalism, religiosity and representations of Mary and many saints made into idols in the Catholic church. Tourists are taken on New Age-type mystical tours. Beside the trees we are standing at the boundary of the CORASON land...spiritually think of standing firm - often we are at a boundary between good and evil. (Ephesians 6:10-18; Isaiah 2; Psalm 1)

There are actually two lines of trees here. The tall eucalyptis trees overwhelm the scene but in front of them is a line of native prickly pine like trees that make up the CORASON boundary line. These trees were planted by people from different churches several years ago. The story is that the Mennonite church planted the most trees and won a computer! woohoo familia! There's such a peaceful feeling beside these trees it's almost hard to remember the battle that we face in the valley where so many are in search of spiritual things but are so utterly confused or deceived!

In this line of trees we'll see a line of metal power towers. At the first one we'll want to start our descent off to our right. Here comes the fun, "choose your own adventure" part of the hike. There's no real path, so you just have to go down and to your right while all along avoiding prickles and cactus like plants. You are aiming for a small resevoir of water. You can tell where it is because of the blue tarp around it. Cross over a fissure/ crack at the bottom of this valley and keep to the lowest path that will take you to the small resevoir of water. You'll want to cross that small stream to get to the other side.

6. Beside the stream
We Offer our lives to you in worship and service, not conforming to the pattern of the world, but living in overflowing love, by the power of the Holy Spirit, remembering the poor, the sick, the oppressed, the lonely and the foreigner.
Beside the stream we think of the water of life and our empowering by the Holy Spirit to live for God. (Isaiah 58:11, John 4:7-26, 7:37-39)

The story of how the pastor found this water here is truly a miracle from God. He had been bringing up water to the mountain but construction of the center was about to start and they needed water. The pastor went off to pray for a miraculous provision of water and began to dig and dig and dig. And he found water and now CORASON has more than enough water!

From this resevoir we can find the path up a little on the right side. It's a sheep path so you'll find wool stuck in the plants along the way. Follow this path around the side of the hill. When it seems to suddenly disappear, drop down instead of climbing up and you'll find the path again. Once you come around the second hill you'll see the CORASON buildings beneath you. The descent is a little tricky so keep to the darker colored parts that look like rock but are really packed dirt. Watch out for slippery spots and loose dirt as you go down.

7. Walking back down
We Name these specific people and situations that need you Father especially right now...
This part is for you to speak to God about your own needs and those of your family, friends, etc. (Isaiah 61; Luke 4:14-21, Isaiah 65:17-25)

By this point you are probably pretty tired but happy for this time with God and walking in His beautiful creation. Certain parts of this hike are hard but it's a rewarding thing to spend that time with Him! In the end we've pretty much hiked the boundaries of the CORASON land! Next time don't forget your hat and some more sunscreen.

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