Matthew 14:25–30 – And in the fourth watch of the night, [Jesus] came to them walking upon the sea. And they seeing him walk upon the sea, were troubled, saying: It is an apparition. And they cried out for fear. And immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying: Be of good heart: It is I, fear ye not. And Peter making answer, said: Lord, if it be thou, bid me come to thee upon the waters. And he said: Come. And Peter going down out of the boat, walked upon the water to come to Jesus. But seeing the wind strong, he was afraid: and when he began to sink, he cried out, saying: Lord, save me. (DRA)
How often we have prayed for something good, like the salvation of a loved one, firmly believing that our prayers would be answered. Have we not been told that "nothing is impossible for God"? (Luke 1:37 CEV) And yet, like Peter, we, too, have been afraid and begin to sink. We recall our own experiences in the past, and because other prayers did not seem to be answered in the way that we would like, we begin to believe that this prayer will not gain us what we desire. We listen to the voices of the world and voices inside our own heads that say, "Come on, be realistic. You know that this is a really hard thing for God to grant."
And yet, it is not God Who is the liar, but the one who is known as a liar and a thief. He says, "God does not answer prayers!" And we, poor folks, believe the one who tells lies. Even though at first, we were very strong in our belief, we, too, listen to the voices and start to sink.
We grandmothers pray for the salvation of our spouses, our children, and their spouses and children. We set about very strong in our resolve, but somewhere along the way, we encounter evidence of some sin that our loved ones have committed. We become discouraged and look at the world with all its temptations and say to ourselves, The world is too full of corruption. Our children/grandchildren/spouse don't stand a chance, so why am I wasting my time? We may be tempted ourselves into laziness or depression, and we begin to slack off on our prayers. The evil one laughs up his sleeve and says, "Aha! That worked. I'm so glad I could tell them that lie and show them that their prayers will never be answered for that loved one!" Is it possible that God was just about to bring about a conversion in that loved one, and the evil one became desperate, fearing his loss and launching an even greater temptation? His next strategy was perhaps to throw the evidence of the fall in our face so that we would become discouraged.
Peter looked at the high waves on the darkened sea and he became afraid. His response was to cry out to Jesus saying, "Lord, save me".
Matthew 14:31 – And immediately Jesus stretching forth his hand took hold of him, and said to him: O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt? (DRA)
We, like Peter, must keep looking not at the waves, nor listening to the wind, nor seeing the darkness all around, but keep our eyes steadfastly fixed on Jesus, saying, like the father of the epileptic boy, "I do believe, Lord: help my unbelief." (Mark 9:23 DRA) The temptations will surely come to make us disbelieve — the evil one guarantees it — but we must turn steadfastly to Jesus and ask Him to calm our fears and rout the whisperings of unbelief. We must turn ever more diligently to prayer and say to ourselves, The salvation of this loved one's soul is something Jesus does want, so persevere despite what it appears to be. God will tell us some day in heaven, "Well done, good and faithful servant" and we will be content that we have done our utmost for the good of the ones we loved.
Prayer: Jesus, in Your infinite mercy, please keep us steadfast in our prayers for those we love. Though many temptations to give up assail us at times, we sincerely want to remain faithful in petitioning for our loved ones' well-being and for their salvation. Grant us all strength in this resolve and give us peace. Thank You, dear Lord. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Lord I'm Coming Home" (Lyrics)