Matthew tells us that Jesus went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Meanwhile the disciples went ahead, attempting to cross the lake in a boat when they were caught in a storm. They panicked, overcome with fear. Jesus said to Peter, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Perhaps it was because he had not taken time to pray. Jesus took time to pray. The disciples went ahead.
Jesus was often taking time to be alone in prayer. But not the disciples. They have yet to follow the pattern of their Teacher and to discover what happens through a pattern and practice of time alone in prayer. Fear turns to trust. Doubt turns to faith.
According to Matthew, this scene began when “Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him.” Could it be that Jesus knew this would be an occasion to experience what might otherwise be difficult to teach? Jesus could have sent them into their own private time of prayer, but without an understanding of what they were lacking would that private time have been used for prayer? What are we missed as we enter the experiences of this day?
I cry to you, LORD; I say, “You are my refuge”… Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need. (Psalm 142:6)