How’s your prayer life lately? Are you overcoming in daily prayer and intercession or would you be embarrassed to reveal your prayerlessness? I want to challenge you regarding the disturbing question Jesus put to His closest disciple, Peter, as he shamefully fell asleep at a desperate time when urgent prayer was needed from Christ’s companion, as He faced alone the impending cross with all of its physical agony, satanic torment and spiritual separation from God.
“And Jesus came unto His disciples, and found them asleep, and said unto Peter, What, could you not watch with Me for one hour? Watch and pray, that you do not enter into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. (Matt 26:40, 41)
Tell me—do you think you will be spared the same question from Jesus? Is your reason for not spending sixty minutes alone with God or partaking in a weekly prayer meeting at your church because you can’t seem to find the time, or because you don’t know how to pray or because you can’t imagine yourself intelligently praying for an entire hour? The truth is, we are now living in a time of urgent need where much distress and unabashed sin is in our land and at our very doorstep, just as it was in the days of Lot. A demonic spirit of deception is ravishing the unsaved and the saved alike. Many are giving up and walking away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils as Paul predicted in 1Timothy 4:1. Others are bound by a spirit of lust—others still by fear, bitterness, anger and rebellion. Truly, the Church needs to shake itself out of its slumber in this dark crisis hour and pray.
Had Peter spent that time in the garden in prayer for his Master and for himself rather than sleeping it away, it would no doubt have strengthened Christ in His great sorrow that was upon His soul, which was the very reason Jesus took Peter aside with Him. One hour of intense prayer would have also given a frightened Peter supernatural courage and grace to withstand the approaching confrontation with the traitor, Judas, the chief priests and the temple guards. Even though Peter was mercifully forgiven and restored after denying the Lord three times, that piercing question must have haunted him for days, weeks and months to come—“Peter, could you not watch with Me for one hour?”. Insert your own name to Christ’s question and answer truthfully and humbly.
What kinds of trials and temptations will your one hour of prayer keep you from? What strength, favour and blessing will one hour of prayer procure on those whose names you bring before the throne of grace in earnest supplication? Your one hour of prayer could make all the difference between life and death to someone in deep despair, hopelessly at their wit’s end. Prayer is so much more than just a rigorous and regimented list of requests—it is our very bastion in the battle —our source of power to maneuver through the minefield of hidden temptations the enemy has carefully buried on our path in an effort to defeat and destroy us. It is a lifeline to those who are sinking in sin. If there was ever a time to be long on our knees before God, it is now! Peter’ grandest opportunity in a lifetime for prayer was passed up because he gave in to the weakness of his flesh, though his spirit was willing. I know pastors who are giving up and my heart breaks. Watch and pray, brothers and sisters that you do not enter into temptation—this shall be our finest hour, for“They who dwell in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1) Amen!