Deuteronomy 25-27 Mark 14:27-53
“Then Jesus went back to his followers and found them asleep. He said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you stay awake with me for one hour? Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. The spirit wants to do what is right, but the body is weak.’” (Mark 14:37-38 NCV)
Peter stood before Jesus proudly and defiantly noting that if everyone else fell away, he’d stay strong in following Jesus. If you know the full story, you know the Peter denied Jesus three times and then went off in tears when the rooster crowed. What we often forget is that when Jesus needed Peter to pray for and with Him, Peter went to sleep. Jesus had gone to the Mount of Olives to pray and had brought along Peter, James, and John to support Him. When Jesus needed those three the most, they fell asleep. When Jesus chastised them for sleeping, He focused on Peter. Perhaps He focused on Peter as a forerunner to his upcoming denial.
Praying, when you do it right, is hard work. When Jesus prayed in the garden, He sweated blood. Peter, James, and John fell asleep. Some would dismiss prayer as unimportant or ineffective in solving problems, not realizing that saying words to God is not all that prayer is. Prayer involves seeking God’s desires, and then acting on them. When I pray for myself, that means I may need to take some action. When I pray for someone else, I need to be ready to listen to God and be part of the solution. If you’ve ever been in a situation where someone gave you a rapid-fire monologue about their concerns and then left before giving you a chance to answer, you may have an inkling of what God deals with when most of us pray. As you pray today, spend at least half the time listening. Be still and let God speak to you. When you listen and obey God in prayer, you’ll be amazed at how exciting your prayer life will be.
Lord, as I pray, help me to listen.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.