When Jesus found the disciples asleep in Gethsemane, his words express exasperation; “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” (Matthew 26:40)
Mrs. White expounds upon this in The Desire of Ages (p. 713):
“All the disciples, by sleeping in that critical hour, sustained a great loss. Christ knew the fiery ordeal through which they were to pass…Had those hours in the garden been spent in watching and prayer, Peter would not have been left to depend upon his own feeble strength. He would not have denied his Lord. Had the disciples watched with Christ in His agony, they would have been prepared to behold His suffering upon the cross…Amid the gloom of the most trying hour, some rays of hope would have lighted up the darkness and sustained their faith.”
When I read this statement, it hits me hard. You see, there have been times in my life where I have not made prayer a priority. I’m not proud of it. During those times I’ve found myself running up against the limits of my own strength, wondering what I was lacking in order to make my life “better”. By depriving ourselves of daily time in communion with God, we, as Mrs. White said above, “sustain a great loss”. We may not understand exactly what it is about prayer that moves the hand and heart of God, but I assert by faith that we ought to do as Jesus did, and that includes prayer (Luke 11:1).
Many a sermon has been preached and many a book written on the power and importance of prayer. However, I’d suggest that arguably no statement, outside of scripture at least, has been written so poignantly as the one in Steps to Christ (p. 93). “Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him.”
I’m speaking to myself as well when I encourage you to preserve and protect your daily time in prayer with God. Don’t let your children, your job, your social media feed, or anything else interrupt that important time each day. We’re not promised an easy life—it says as much in the Bible. But through prayer we are divinely granted peace and perspective. That is a promise (John 16:33). And we serve a God who keeps His promises.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://spencervillechurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/jas-headshot.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Jason Lombard is the Associate Pastor for Administration, Media and Communications at Spencerville Church in Northern Silver Spring, Maryland. On Twitter? Follow Jason @jasonrlombard.[/author_info] [/author]