“You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” (Luke 9:41, NIV)
Luke 9 is a story of contrasts. One day the disciples “get it.” The next day… not so much.
One day they’re out proclaiming the gospel, healing the sick, and setting people free. The next? They can’t figure out how to feed 5,000 people.
They have set people free from demons, but a father brings his son to them and now they can’t? On top of that comes this harsh rebuke from their Teacher. “When are you guys going to get it?”
When I think I “tire” of prayer… those days when I am simply lazy… those days when I simply feel like things are hitting the ceiling, so why bother… on those days, I would do well to remember my failures.
It is good to remember the “wins.” It is also good to remember the “losses.” I can only bring a guess, but I think this episode stuck with the disciples long after the Day of Pentecost. When they were tired and didn’t “feel” like praying. When they were exhausted and thought, “Well, I prayed yesterday…”
This isn’t about a guilt trip concerning “how much time did you pray?” This is a cold reminder that our spiritual journey is constant. We are constantly in spiritual war, whether we like it or not. Our best position is one of prayer. We need to catch our own rhythms of prayer, to be sure. It’s the rhythm the Spirit uses in our lives to keep in tune with what God is doing.
That rhythm isn’t a formula of “one hour every day” or anything. It IS a reminder to stay in rhythm. Because when we miss that rhythm, we miss opportunities to walk in the power of the Kingdom and see people truly set free.
I am reminded of my failures. I carry them with me. It’s not because I beat myself up over them. They remind me of the need I have daily for prayer. Those “losses” are the times I am reminded of how, no matter how I feel on a particular day, there is still a need for the presence of God in my life. And I press in just a bit more.
When we tire of prayer, it would be good to be reminded of a “miss” in our lives. Then, we can sense the strength of the Spirit to press on once again. It is good to be reminded of our constant need of prayer and the deep need of the daily anointing it takes to walk in Kingdom power.