S198P7 – When God’s people pray: they are prepared

Mk. 14:37-38

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping.  “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep?  Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?  Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

The purpose of their ministry was to feed those who were hungry in that neighborhood.  Preparations would start on Saturday when they would determine their budget and figure out how to make their dollars stretch the furthest.  Then, they would plan their menu and go shopping.  It usually was the same group who would purchase and prepare the food, and they had their system down.  By Friday night, they were ready to set up in the church parking lot and feed the hungry.  Their intentions were noble, but their preparation was flawed.  Although they readied themselves to feed with physical food, they had not prepared themselves to feed with spiritual food.

We must remind ourselves constantly that the foundation of our work and our battles in this world is in the spiritual realm.  The physical manifestation of the effect of sin here can distract us to focus on the physical part of our work and neglect the spiritual.  Whether we are fighting injustice or providing for the needy, the ultimate goal is a spiritual victory over the power of sin.  The disciples might have thought that their support of their Lord was fulfilled by their physical presence with him in his time of need.  What they missed was that their spiritual presence was more significant, particularly for their own protection.  All of them were approaching a great spiritual battle, and Jesus knew that they would not be prepared for that battle without the proper foundation of prayer.

God will call us to amazing works for him in this world.  Many of the tasks He gives us will require us to prepare ourselves in some physical way.  We might have to hone our talents or practice our skills in labor, but we cannot forget that spiritual preparation is necessary for everything that He has us do.  There is a spiritual component to all of this physical work, and the work will suffer without that component being our focus.  We are prepared when we are prayed up for the work God has for us.  Our readiness comes from our spiritual alignment with him through that communion.  Father, keep us spirit-minded, that we would remember to prepare for our work and our days through prayer.