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After dismissing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain by himself to pray. –Matthew 14:23
For Children: Share this short video lesson about having faith in Jesus with your young children.
For Adults: I’ve never been the athletic sort, so my hikes to the top of real mountains have been rare. But once I did attempt to climb a 10,000-foot peak in the Sierras, only to turn back after a long struggle when I encountered a sheet of ice across the path that plunged down into an abyss. That failed ascent nagged at me. I felt I could have made it all the way but for that unavoidable obstacle. So two years later, I tried again, and did it. I’d been so close the first time and hadn’t even dreamed my goal was a few hours away.
Some ascents you make with companions in tow, and others you have to do yourself. In the Gospels, Jesus frequently goes off to pray alone. Those solitary ascents gave him the fortitude he needed for the work ahead. If Peter had had such training in stamina and perseverance, perhaps he wouldn’t have lost his nerve as quickly as he did in the hours when he was called upon to get out of the boat and act. Prayer is a form of resistance training, a way to strengthen our spirits for all the future may hold.
How do your present prayer practices train you to face the obstacles ahead of you?
LET US PRAY… Source of life and light, we thank you for the time to reflect on the path we’ve walked so far. We thank you for your word and your story, given to us as our precious legacy. Support us in our witness to the gospel in every decision we make: with our time, with our money, with our words, and with our relationships. Amen.
Image credit: Good News Productions International and College Press Publishing