So often we think it is just some nice words we say before our meals or words before bed to wish away bad dreams. Since when did prayer become ritual and routine?
Since when did we start taking it so lightly?
36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled.38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me;nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
I couldn’t help but find myself right there in with what Jesus must have felt in those moments. Here he is in a hard, tempting, sorrowful moment and his disciples, his friends couldn’t even stay awake to support him to watch out for him.
Have you ever felt like that? You are in a painful spot and all you need is someone to pray, to really pray, and to fight along side you but that isn’t happening.
It is funny how when someone is going through a tough spot we tell them oh, I am praying for you and often times we forget to actually back those words with our actions.
When we open our eyes and keep watch out for others and couple it with prayer things can change. When we truly care for the interest of other and not just ourselves, God sees that. God tells us we will seek him and find him when we seek him with all of our heart(Jeremiah 29:13) so why are we being half-hearted?
If I know my friend is battling depression or addictions I am not going to be casual about my prayers I am going to be fierce.
A few years ago I started keeping track of things I was praying for whether it was a notebook, a board, papers in a Jar. I started keeping track for those around me that I was praying for and the things in my own life and family that I was praying for because it held me accountable to keep praying and expectant for the day I could take that paper down and say thank you God for answering. I don’t want to be a passive in my prayers but to be proactive.
I also began to realize over the last few years especially that trying to change things that were out of my control on my own strength just makes me crazy!!! but when I seek God and lay it on him, I receive peace that surpassed all my understanding. I will be so honest, I have a hard time letting things go when I don’t “understand” but prayer helps give me peace even when I don’t understand!
When we pray we partner with the Holy Spirit and a lot of the times he changes our selfish prayers to prayers that are on his heart. When we relinquish control to him and trust in his promise to work everything out for the good of those who love him it will change the way we pray and strengthen our dependence on him.
I leave you with this challenge, are you keeping watch for your brothers and sisters? Are you listening to their struggles and truly taking the time to pray until you see God move?
Start asking those around you ways you can be partnering with them and praying with them!
Let us not be passive in prayer any longer but fierce and expectant in our prayers to see God move in our lives and those around us.
Have a blessed week!