Day 3: Staying On Our Knees - How to be Victorious over the Enemy

Day 3: Staying on Our Knees

“But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” (Luke 5:15-16, NLT)

These are two of the most challenging verses I’ve read in the Bible. Jesus had healed a leper, and he instructed the man to go to the priest to declare him clean as a witness to God’s power rather than tell anyone what had happened. The man told others anyway (and how hard it would have been to keep silent about his healing!), and the crowds gathered around Jesus. So many people pressed into his space that Jesus couldn’t enter towns publicly.

I can just imagine the scene. The crowds gathered to hear Jesus teach. Many must have walked to him, and others may have come on the back of an animal. They came, though, because they heard that no one ever taught like Jesus did. The people wanted to hear from him.

Others had heard that Jesus had the power to heal, so they brought their sick to him. Again, I can “see” the story. A blind man fumbled his way through the crowd to get to Jesus. A deaf man followed the movement. A lame man lay at Jesus’ feet where someone else had placed him. Anguished moans of pain and a strong odor of sickness hung in the air. The people really did need healing. Today’s text, though, tells us that Jesus often pushed away from the crowds to pray.

Did you catch that picture? Ministry opportunities were in front of Jesus. He had—indeed, he was—the message people needed to hear. He had the power to heal no matter the nature of the sickness. He likely could have ministered for hours—but he instead pushed away from the busyness to be with the Father.

That’s where this text is so challenging to me today. I so love to preach the Word that I would want to preach if a crowd had gathered in front of me. I’m enough of a shepherd that I would want to heal the sick if I had the power to do so. I would want to do ministry in the moment of need.

What I fear, though, is that I would do ministry first and pray second. That means I would be doing ministry in my power more than in God’s. I fear I would push prayer to leftover time—and there simply never is any leftover time. I have to work hard every day to intentionally step away from ministry activity and get to my knees. How about you?


  1. Evaluate your life in terms of busyness. Do you tend to pray during the leftover time?
  2. Each day this week, find at least ten minutes to pray. Prioritize the time.

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