Scripture Reading: Leviticus 17:1-18:30 / Mark 14:17-42 / Psalm 31:9-18
Do you believe in the power of prayer? A little boy in Kentucky certainly did! He was being a little bit unruly and loud in church so his mother took him by the hand and led him outside for a heart to heart “talk”. The little boy knew what to expect so just before he reached the door, he pleaded to the congregation with great desperation, “Ya’ll pray for me now!”
I don’t know how well it turned out for the little boy but I do know prayer has stopped the sun, changed the course of nature, healed the sick and released the supernatural! The Bible is filled with stories of answered prayer and there are untold testimonies in our world today about the power of prayer.
We are to be people of prayer but it is accurately said, “More is said about prayer and less done about it than any other subject in the Bible.” Christians value prayer yet their prayer life reflects a lot of struggle and inconsistency. Even those closest to Jesus failed to pray. Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane the night He was to be betrayed and asked Peter, James and John to watch and pray with Him.
Jesus checked on them three different times and found them sleeping each time. He asked Peter, “Are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Mark 14:37,38) Peter relied on his physical strength instead of his spiritual strength. Peter was fearless, self-confident and brash. He was secure in his strength but oblivious to his weakness.
Peter was told he would forsake and deny Jesus. He would experience a shifting of his faith that would leave him broken yet Peter saw no urgency to pray. Peter failed because he failed to pray. As we face the complexities of the world and personal struggles within, we will not be able to stand in victory until we kneel in prayer!
Jesus told Peter to watch and pray but we find him sleeping. It is much easier to sleep than to pray…we know that all too well. We are robbed of spiritual strength and provision when satan sings lullabies and rocks us to sleep. Jesus was driven to prayer; what should that suggest to us? Our eyes need to be wide open to the enemy’s schemes and securely fixed upon a High Priest who intercedes for us!
Our war is not with flesh and blood but with the enemy of our souls. We wrestle against principalities, powers, darkness and wickedness. The greatest miracle of prayer is not when God changes circumstances but when God changes us. Gethsemane prepared Jesus for the cross and it was in prayer that He submitted His will fully and completely to The Father. Miracles are birthed out of the prayer closet and our lives are empowered by prayer. Maybe it’s time for the body of Christ to “wake-up” and discover the strength, transformation and power of prayer!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!