Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The peril of prayerlessness

An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, and said to them, "Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great." (Luke 9:46-48 NASB)

Jesus was training His disciples to carry on once He returned to heaven. The disciples didn't yet realize that they were being groomed for a near impossible task. If they had, perhaps they would have been less concerned about who was greatest and more concerned about how they would accomplish the enormous job Jesus would give them. My mother sometimes said, "Ignorance is bliss." For the disciples, ignorance was a kind of bliss that allowed them to continue with foolishness, such as the argument about who was greatest. None of them were greatest. Those who were privy to the transfiguration had failed to stay awake for the divine event and those who were left to carry on the ministry had failed to heal the sick boy. 

Both groups had failed as a result of the same root cause. Prayerlessness. Peter, James, and John did not persevere in prayer when they joined Jesus for His mountain prayer retreat. As a result, they drifted off to sleep and missed most of the divine events for which they had been included. The other disciples were busy trying to carry on with the work and failed to spend the amount of time in prayer required to be prepared for the work. 

Does that sound familiar? We, too, are often guilty of being so busy that we fail to spend time with our Lord in prayer and Bible study, preparing for the work He has given us. We are equally guilty of thinking that our agenda, our plans, are what matters for the future. God has a plan. His word is clear about it. There is a plan for each of us. It is a plan for good and not evil. It is a plan for a future and a hope. What we need to understand is that God's plan is the one that will be blessed, and we would do well to align our lives and our priorities with His plan. If we could grasp the fact that there is a plan that requires our participation to expand the kingdom of God, perhaps we would be more focused on preparation for that plan, more vigilant, more faithful. If we understood that the tasks ahead cannot be accomplished in our strength alone, perhaps we would be willing to spend the time required to gain the strength we need. 

What do you have on your agenda for today? Is it the same agenda as that of Almighty God? It is the busiest days that require the greatest amount of prayer. As you make your list of tasks to accomplish today, be sure that time with your Heavenly Father is at the top of the list. That time is the source of your power, so be still until you have the power you need. 
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