Margin notes: The power of prayer


Matthew 14:27–31 (ESV) — 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

We all know this famous account of Jesus walking on the water to the Disciples. Here they were in the storm, and here comes Jesus – in the most unlikely way. We can only imagine how mind-boggling this must have been for them. And then Peter – perhaps without thinking it through at all takes the step of asking Jesus to command him to walk on the sea. I for one would never have the nerve. Blessed impetuous Peter.

And then, distracted by the wind and waves, Peter begins to sink. And so he prays. No formally, the way we normally think of prayer – he just cries out in his panic. And it is so very informative and encouraging.

And when it is all said and done, could there be a more eloquent prayer? It is but 2 words in the Greek – “Lord! Save!”

It wasn’t dismissed for its brevity. It wasn’t ignored because it was uttered in terror. It wasn’t denied because the very thing which occasioned it was lack of faith – but it was answered because it was directed at our Lord. Because Christ is a Christ who saves those who call upon Him. Because He is merciful. Because He is faithful. Because He is compassionate. Because He is full of grace. Because He loves us. It is not the power, eloquence, length or glory of our prayers – but the wonder of the One we pray to. Never think your prayer too weak, too poorly phrased, too imprecise, too un-religious sounding to be heard and answered. For the power in prayer is not located in how well we pray, but in how well our Savior hears and responds. He is a prayer-hearing and answering God. And we have full access to Him because of Christ’s death on our behalf.

If your prayer today is only “Lord! Save!” Know it is enough. Because He is enough.

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