Walking by Faith Alone

I will pray for you…

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I find it difficult to imagine the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, sleeping while their Savior prayed. Did they not understand or observe the turmoil brewing within Him?

Mark 14:37-40, “And He cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? Couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. And again He went away, and prayed, and spake the same words. And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer Him.”

I tend to be critical of them, considering the fact they had the opportunity to witness first hand the miracles of God; to speak and learn from the Master Himself. Had He ever been concerned to the point of requesting prayer from them? Had His behavior ever been such? Our Lord and Savior, knowing what was going to happen, was sweating blood, and Peter, James, and John were sleeping. How could they?

In life, I have found that when I make a judgement against someone, God usually teaches me to point my finger towards myself. In this instance, it is no different. While I do not understand how the disciples could sleep at such a time, I do the same to others. I have slept while people depended on me for prayer.

A few years ago, a friend confided in me of a situation in her life. She was conflicted and anxious, worrying that the outcome would be too difficult for her to live. Through her tears I promised to fast and pray with her and diligently did for several days. Life distracted me, I guess, if there is a justifiable reason for my stopping my fast and forgetting to pray. Maybe I was too wrapped up in myself and my own problems. Maybe I was tired. Maybe I didn’t realize the depth of her fears. Maybe I was the disciples under the tree in the Garden of Gethsemane.  A week passed and she called me, excited the situation had turned positive for her and hope existed. Instantaneously, I realized I was no different from Peter or James or John. It was as if I too had fallen asleep. God didn’t let my sweet friend down, but I did.

I heard a sermon recently by a man who travels throughout the world to minister to others. He told of a story in which a tragedy struck his friend’s household. The young daughter of this man had died, right at Christmas time. What do you do in such situations? He reminded us of the Christian response, “I will be praying for you…” and rolled his eyes whispering, “…and you take out your checkbook and write him a check for $500.00 to cover Christmas so he doesn’t have to worry about it.”

We often use prayer as a scapegoat – a way to gently remove ourselves from the pain of others. “Oh, I’m so sorry for what you are going through. I will pray for you.” But how often do we actually do what we say we are going to do? We use the most powerful weapon God has given us against Satan as a phrase similar to a greeting. “How ya doing?” “I’ll be praying for ya!”

After the incident with my friend, I started a prayer journal and schedule. By putting people on particularly days, I would be able to keep up with who I had committed to pray for and maintain how he or she was doing. A day for my children, a day for my government, a day for my friend’s in need…I still fall short. I still let friends who I have told I will pray for slip through the cracks, but I try very hard not to do so.

Are you sleeping while others are counting on your prayers? Do you do what you say you are going to do when someone asks you to pray for them?

Not too long ago I received an email from a person I had asked several years ago to pray for me. I actually met her in a medical environment. We were struggling with similar issues and had spent the morning talking, while waiting to be tested for this and that. We had exchanged emails and had full intention of keeping touch. Her email was simple, “I continue to pray for you daily my friend. Let me know how you are.” My heart was filled with hope and the joy of knowing someone had been praying for me. She did not fall asleep but kept a watchful eye for me.

Prayer is a powerful weapon, so powerful that Jesus used it! The son of God used prayer daily. Imagine the enormity of that! If He needed prayer how much more do we?

Make a practice of praying daily. Keep your commitments to others.

Job 42:10, “And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”

Prayer is quite an investment for the future, wouldn’t you agree?

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

January 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm

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