District Apostle Tshitshi Tshisekedi of the DR Congo South-East crosses mountains to find the right place to pray. In the second Spotlight for this year, he writes about what the image of the mountain means for prayer and which place Jesus recommends.
In my country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is a tradition in Christian circles for believers to visit hills called Mountains of Prayer to offer prayers to God. Do we as New Apostolic Christians also know something like this?
Going into the mountains to pray dates back to ancient times. At that time, the mountains were considered suitable places for encounters with the gods. The Israelites continued this tradition. In the Bible we read that God appeared to Moses on a mountain. Later, the temple that was built on a hill replaced the mountain. The temple was now the place where God and His people met.
In the new covenant, the transfiguration of Jesus takes place on a mountain. His intention was to establish a connection to the old covenant: Jesus’ relationship with His Father was even stronger than that of the patriarchs with God. So why did Jesus leave the mountain to pray? Above all, He wanted to escape the crowd and was looking for a quiet place where He could withdraw.
For us New Apostolic Christians, climbing a mountain to pray is an image. It means that for our prayers to be effective, we need to rise above the worries of everyday life, leave the noise of the city behind us, and ascend to the heights of faith.
To this end, we refer to the fourth chapter of John, verses 19 to 24:
“The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship. Jesus said to her, ‘Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’”