I know for me my prayer life is something that I generally tend to neglect when it comes to the three foundations of our faith: prayer, worship and God’s word.
My pastor, Jon, recently made a statement saying “prayerlessness is carelessness”, wow talk about shooting from the hip, this really woke me up to the possibility that I may potentially be missing out, missing out on one of the most powerful tools given to me by God to live my life abundantly in His blessings. So I want to have a look at a short story given to us by Jesus displaying the importance of spiritual preparation through prayer.
Jon made a few points surrounding this piece of scripture:
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.1 Timothy 2: 1-8
The point that struck me the most was that prayer is easy, despite what we may sometimes feel. We won’t be able to do the difficult things, without doing the easy things.
If we have a look at Matthew 14 Jesus shows us how prayer is imperative and makes a huge impact in our lives as believers.
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone.Matthew 14:22-23
Then if we jump forward to Matthew 14:26-31
26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I don’t be afraid.”28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”29 “Come,” he said.Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”Matthew 14:26-31
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Firstly the disciples had a head start on Jesus AND they had been rowing ALL NIGHT. But because Jesus spent the night praying, He walked to where others had rowed to. And isn’t that exactly what happens in our lives? Through the power of prayer, God enables us to STRIDE into places where others have STRIVED for.
If we look at Jesus walking on water with Peter He shows us just how important it is to prepare for events in our lives through prayer. Jesus made it a point to go and do what He needed to do in the spiritual in order to be ready in the physical. But why did Peter begin to doubt and sink?
Peter saw Jesus do something publicly, but he didn’t prepare the same way privately. We often sit and think “I could be so much better than Tom in that position” or “I could do so much more with that circumstance than that person.” And that is why we can prepare for months and months all the spreadsheets and presentations that we like, but when we step into the boardroom, we fall to pieces. We need to learn to prepare in the spiritual in order to be enabled for the physical.
As Priscilla Shirer said, “Prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth. It is kryptonite to the enemy and all his ploys against you.”