Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Preparing properly

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.

Scripture: Matthew 14:22-23 (The Message) As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples got in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.

Jesus had just finished performing the miracle of feeding the 5,000. The next subtitle for this story is “Walking on the Water.” Like a businessman looking ahead to the next day’s agenda, Jesus knew what would happen that night. He had an object lesson planned for Peter, designed to build his faith. So what does Jesus do, knowing he must go from one great miracle to another? He first regains his strength by going off to a place of solitude and praying. Scripture says he was praying “late into the night,” so it wasn’t a short prayer.

That’s a lesson we should all learn. Tomorrow’s a big day, and we know it. We need proper rest, yes, so going to bed at a decent hour is wise. But it’s the prayer thing that is important. Instead of taking a day off, Jesus looks at the surroundings and sees another opportunity to teach Peter how to trust him more. His prayer time fortifies his plans. We should do the same. “Father, this is my plan. What am I missing? Tell me.” Then listen intently. Whatever you need, God will reveal to you.

Our plan may be sound because we prayed over it as we made it, but that quiet time with God is meant to be a listening time. “Lord, what is your plan for me.” That way, it becomes more of God’s plan and less of ours. Jesus knew a storm was brewing when he sent the disciples out. He knew he would rejoin them by walking on water. He knew Peter would hop out of the boat and cry for help when he sank. Yet he still wanted to ensure he was one with God by praying first. He prayed fervently, too.

Jesus didn’t waste any time moving on to the next ministry opportunity. He didn’t gloat over his success with the feeding of the 5,000. Had he eaten with his disciples that night, they surely would have reveled in the fact that, at the end of the meal, there were more loaves and fishes than when they started. Maybe they would have gloated a little bit. Jesus would have none of that. He saw another opportunity to teach his disciples, and he didn’t waste it. We should do the same with our children. Sometimes it happens so quickly that the only prayer time we have is “Lord, help me.” That’s enough. We’ve called on the Holy Spirit to intervene for us. It’s suddenly about God and not about us. Let the great teacher teach.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to give my daily plans over to you. Tell me what I am missing for today. Amen

Doug Mead

Parenting Solo

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Vol. 3, No. 93

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/

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