|"Sleep of the Disciples" - Alexandre Bida (1813-1895)|
TO CHEW ON:“And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith should not fail…’” Luke 22:31-32
If we look at the Bible as the story of the fight between good and evil, God and Satan, is it any wonder that Satan’s tracks run all through the account of Jesus’ passion, when the time of bruising heels and heads had come? Yesterday we saw how Satan entered Judas’ heart. In today’s reading that cagey serpent is working behind the scenes to “sift” Peter. Later on in the Garden, his wiles are in evidence again. Jesus finds the disciples sleeping while he has been agonizing in prayer and He warns them, “'Why do you sleep? Rise and pray lest you enter into temptation.'”
How do our prayers work to deflect, weaken, or hinder Satan’s attacks and keep him from victory in our lives and the lives of others? I don’t know. But I do know that we have our orders.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
PRAYER: Dear God, forgive my casual attitude toward prayer. Please remind and help me to use this weapon more faithfully and intentionally. Amen.
MORE: Maundy Thursday
Today the church celebrates Maundy Thursday. The day's liturgy begins with this collect:
*******************"Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.