You Gotta Go Up to Come Down
“. . . but by prayer.” Mark 9:29
Prayer makes a difference. Most find themselves in conflicted moods about praying. In one mood it’s as natural as talking, it’s an instant impulse even in the depths of struggle and suffering, it is a natural response of the soul to cry out. In another mood, one wonders, if God already knows what’s going to happen, what’s the point. Many see more unanswered prayers than answered; the world seems to be in constant opposition to the work of God. Prayer seems to make little difference.
The feelings one has toward prayer, how many prayers are answered, or why they aren’t, are not the focus. We need it. In our busy, hurried world, prayer keeps us spiritually alert; it ensures God is not just a name we yell in traffic. Prayer allies us with the spirit of God. It’s in prayer we fully surrender to Him. Prayer was a priority to Jesus.
The transfiguration of Jesus and the Deliverance of the boy are connected by prayer. The explanation Jesus gives His disciples as to why they could not drive out the evil spirit from the boy, was prayer.
Imagine as He tells them this cannot come out, but by prayer. He points up to the mountain, signaling the need for His disciples to first be prepared in prayer.
It’s prayer that ends in transfiguration. Jesus had climbed the mountain in order to pray. He had deliberately prepared Himself for all that lay ahead of Him. He had climbed the mountain in order to see Calvary. He could not endure unless He could see the invisible and was armored in spiritual power. He climbed the mountain because of what awaited Him below.
If we are going to change our world, we need a transfiguring experience. Not in order to escape the world but to know how to help it. It’s in prayer we get a vivid picture of the need and the sickness in the world. It’s in prayer we are prepared to go down the hill into the struggling valley below. It’s prayer that gives us the radiance to win and the power to release hurting people from the tyranny of the evil one. It’s only transfigured souls who will change the world.
Can prayer make things that are not, as though they were? Are events brought about in prayer that otherwise would not take place? To believe anything less, is to take the soul out of Jesus’ call to pray.