Did you notice that Luke is the only one who links the purpose for Jesus and the guys on the Mount Hermon to praying? Matthew and Mark don’t mention that, only Luke. Not only does Luke state that as the reason for Jesus and the guys going up the mountain. Viz “Jesus, Peter, John and James went up on the mountain to pray.” Luke also begins the next sentence with “and while He was praying . . .” Note the contrast that again only Luke provides us. While Jesus was praying the three disciples were otherwise occupied.
“Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him.”
They were sleeping. This isn’t the only time Luke records this – see 22:45. Mark records in the same section that the disciples fell asleep praying three times. Does that happen to you?
I have fallen asleep while praying. I used to fall asleep while reading the Bible. The problem in the early years was that I had bought a large NASB and each time I feel asleep reading the Bible I would get a sore nose. How do we stay awake when we have to confess “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”? One way I found in the past to beat this problem was rather than set a certain time for praying which most often happens at the end of a busy day, let God set the time. In other words just say to the Lord, “Lord, I am not going to set the alarm. Rather You wake me when I need to wake. Then trust Him to do it. But that is dangerous too I can tell you. There will be times when you will be allowed to sleep in. Learn not worry about it. But there will be times when He wakes you at inconvenient moments; when you don’t want to get up and pray. However breaking through the comfort barrier is a guarantee of blessing to come. But we need impetus to be able to overcome our lethargy or indolence or inertness or something.
Notice prayer was the reason Jesus was glorified. While He was praying the appearance of His face became different and His clothing gleamed. Can you imagine the impetus to prayer that would be? If when you prayed you glowed; imagine the effect. Oh sure those around you would see and clearly it would have an effect on them. The question is did Jesus feel the difference? I am sure He did. Oh He may not have been able to say “Oh I am glowing white. I am radiating glory” without seeing Himself in a mirror. But I am equally sure the effect was discernible to the recipient. I know there have been times I have come out of the prayer room and Tania has said what happened to you this morning. Clearly something happened, you are different.” Equally there have been times I have emerging from reading the Word of God and been buzzing. It is that kind of encounter which sets us up to yearn for more of the same. It comes first from developing the habit of prayer and Bible reading. (See Bible Gem 815)
I remember a time when we were praying through the 10/40 Window at church in Matamata and we had all agreed that we would pray through the month 24/7, each taking a slot. I took 2.00 to 4.00 am every second day (we have to be wise). But I can tell you that many times I sensed God presence with me to such a degree that I was busting to get down to the church to be in God’s presence. Nothing would keep me away. The precious times I shared with others too who turned up at that time in the morning was amazing. It was like sharing in the glory. I can tell you it is addictive. The same thing has happened to me in terms of Bible reading. As I have told you before, I don’t do these Bible Gems for you, I do them for me. If I wasn’t sending Gems I would still get up early to spend time in the Word of God. It just happens to be a good incentive knowing that I have committed to sending them to YOU. But I have already caught the bug and have experienced the glory. Why would I want to stop?
One way to stop the rot and quit falling asleep while reading the Word of God or praying is to experience the Glory. But be warned you will never be the same and people may think you odd. But that’s fine. I can handle being thought odd. Can you?
People laugh because I am different. I laugh because they all are the same.Ian Vail
Do you pray even five minutes a day?
That’s less than 0.5% of your waking hours!
During Prohibition, Congress ruled that anything containing less than half a percent alcohol was non-intoxicating.
Meaning: You can’t feel the effect.
It doesn’t change your perception.
It doesn’t change your walk or talk.
How long should I pray?
Until you feel the effect.
Until it changes your perception.
Until it changes the way you walk and talk.Bob Gass
A question to help your preparation for tomorrow: why was it Moses and Elijah who met with Jesus on the mountain?