Thursday, May 5, 2011

Praying with Jesus

Matthew 14:22-27 (ESV)
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. [23] And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, [24] but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. [25] And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. [26] But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear. [27] But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid."

Walking on water, it seems to be one of those miracles that catches the hearts of people’s imagination more than others, that and changing water into wine. Jesus sent the disciples off by themselves before he took time to pray. It seems the disciples were to stay a short way off shore so they could pick Jesus up when he was finished dismissing the crowds and praying, but the wind had blown them out a little further than they were hoping. He just walks out to them. I think I’d be at least a bit perplexed if I were to see someone walking on water to where I was in a boat. It defies nature and everything we know about it.
But what gets me is the time Jesus takes for prayer. If there is an example of Jesus to follow it is that. Take time for your own devotion and prayer, you need it. It doesn’t have to be complicated and long. It can be the resolve to say the Lord’s prayer and the Apostle’s Creed, perhaps recite the ten commandments, here in is the entire contents of the Christian faith summarized. I say start out there and see where it goes. I find that as one sets aside a little time in their day for prayer, and are faithful with it, they begin to find more time for it. It becomes an anchor in life, that keeps you from drifting too far off shore away from Christ. Constantly devoting yourself to his word like the Bereans and early Christians, you can’t help but be blessed by it. Praying for others who have requested your prayer is another good habit to get into.
I find at times, for whatever reason I get torn from my studies, and can’t be quite as diligent about it as I like. Those are never good times for me. They are times when I’m disorganized, disheveled, overwhelmed, etc. Returning to prayer and devotion always seems to work its charm, and bring me back to where I need to be. Somehow I seem to get more done too! As Luther said “The more I have to do, the more time I need to devote to prayer.” Or it was something like that.

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