When Victor Martin and five companions encountered an enormous grizzly bear in the woods of Alaska, they were prepared. However, the speed of the mother grizzly who was protecting her cub was more than three of the young men could handle.
As part of National Outdoor Leadership School, the young men were training to be guides, who will lead groups into the wilderness. They were at the apex of their training and released into the wilderness to experience and hone their survival skills.
As the young men were lined up to cross a stream, the mother bear came storming from the woods. The three young men in the back of the line ran. They were able to escape. However, the first two men were attacked and seriously mauled by the bear. The third young man, Victor Martin, tried to run but he could not escape quickly enough. He then fell to the ground and pretended to be dead.
As the 900 pound bear began mauling his feet, Martin proceeded to kick the bear square in the face. Martin gave credit to the kicks and prayer for saving his life. Martin said, “It was terrifying; but prayer helps.”
The wisdom of St. Augustine advised, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” Additionally, Philip Melanchton, a colleague of Martin Luther and 16th century church reformer said, “Trouble and perplexity drive me to prayer and prayer drives away perplexity and trouble.” Prayer also worked for Victor Martin when facing a mother grizzly.