Emma Petersen is the Executive Assistant for The Anchor. She is a Washington native and graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Classics. In her spare time, she enjoys reading the Bible in Greek, running, and rock climbing.
ANCHORED FROM ABOVE
At The Anchor, we LOVE a good anchor analogy, which is almost always a nautical metaphor for our faith. But other types of anchors exist too, and this blog article explores one of them.
In addition to a different anchor metaphor, I want to share three verses that I am currently using to guide my prayers. Within the past few years, I have realized the importance and power of praying through Scripture and praying specific verses over my life. Whether it is praying with the prayers and praises in Scripture (like in Psalms) or praying that God will help me to live out Scripture, praying as I read God’s Word has helped me deepen my prayer life and every other part of my faith.
Rock climbing The Feathers in Central Washington: looking around at the vast view from the top of one of the routes!
Last October, I had the opportunity to go rock-climbing in Central Washington with my dad and brother in a Christian climber group, called Climbers with Christ. Like The Anchor, this ministry also uses the Hebrews 6:19 verse: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” In rock climbing, the bolts and chains which hold the rope are called an “anchor.” This non-nautical type of anchor works remarkably well as a metaphor for the Christian life: our anchor is always above us, and we are always striving to “climb on” (as climbers say) toward that anchor above. Sometimes the surface of the rock is easy to climb, sometimes it is challenging and daunting; but none of these conditions change the strength of the anchor — it is firm and secure.
Sometimes the surface of the rock is easy to climb, sometimes it is challenging and daunting; but none of these conditions change the strength of the anchor — it is firm and secure.
After a day of climbing, the Climbers with Christ group sat around the campfire, singing songs (like Pass it On). Then we went around sharing our highlights of the day. I shared that my highlight was climbing outdoors for the first time. In college, I did indoor bouldering (a type of rock climbing with no ropes or anchors) on a weekly or biweekly basis. So, although I had some experience with rock climbing technique, climbing outdoors in God’s creation was a new installment in my climbing repertoire. Seeing the view from the top (at the anchor) was so impactful for me.
The group leader, Stan, reminded me of a verse which echoes my climbing experience, Psalm 148:1 (NKJV): “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights!” For the rest of the month, I reflected on this verse. I thought about how marveling at God’s creation and His craftsmanship is a form of praise.
A climbing rope hanging from an anchor
Here are three verses I’m currently using to guide my prayers:
1. Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV): “I lift my eyes up to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
God wants to help us, which means we need to trust Him and His ways. I’m praying that God will help me to see that His way of helping us can often be different than what we might initially imagine. There are so many distractions, and this verse is a great reminder of where I need to keep my focus.
2. Psalms 103:11 (NLT) – “For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.”
God’s love is greater than we can imagine. God’s love is a theme throughout the Bible and an anchoring truth (read a blog post about it here). Because the world can be an unloving, unforgiving place, I am continually comforted by this truth. Although I never expect to fully grasp the vastness of God’s love, I am praying that I’ll remember it and let it guide my actions.
3. Habakkuk 3:19 (NLT) – “The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.”
Let God be your strength, as Hebrews 6:19 says, He is “firm and secure.” With Him, we can live according to our calling. He knows our capabilities and wants to see us live according to our calling. I am praying this verse over my life because it reminds me if God has called me to do something, He will grant me the strength and make me able to do it.
A picture looking down at my brother, who is belaying me
When climbing, you climb toward the anchor. In the Christian life, we draw closer to God. What can we possibly do to be closer to God? James 4:8 (NKJV) says “draw near to God and He’ll draw near to you.” Ways to draw nearer to God include spending time in prayer, reading the Bible, and with Christian friends. The Anchor’s mission is to help you draw nearer to Him.
Each month, we release a daily devotional calendar, called the Anchored Devotional. It can help you dive deeper in your faith. We typically like to give one to three verses (short enough to quickly jot down in your journal for reflection throughout the day!) along with journal and prayer prompts. Anchor Gatherings (and the discussion questions after the messages) can help you connect with Christian friends and encourage you in your faith.
Climbing in the great outdoors gave me a deeper understanding of climbing. Likewise, praying through Scripture will deepen your prayer life.
And while it is always important to spend time in the presence of God first, God can also use other Christians to encourage you in your faith. Both are important. A good Christian friend can help you advance in your faith by praying for you, reminding you of Bible verses, and sometimes even answering questions you may have about the Bible or the Christian life. So, in the words of Stan from Climbers with Christ, “don’t [just] keep the faith, SHARE IT!” And that’s what I want to leave you with: may God and His Word embolden you to be active and real in your faith as you remember that He anchors you from above.