Prayer is the Link
Living for Jesus in the Valley
Encouragement from the Book of Mark 9:14-29
September 19, 2011
by PEDRO PEREZ
I'm sure we have heard or have shared our experiences about our "highs and lows"; times when life is great and times when nothing seems to go well...no matter how hard we try. In our spiritual walk with Christ, we also experience moments of overwhelming joy (as if we are on top of a mountain) and times when we find ourselves in the lowest parts of the valley.
I mean seriously, who wouldn't want to bask endlessly in the glow of a well-balanced checkbook, enjoy amazing health, land that perfect job, celebrate the peace at home, or remain in a renewed intimacy with the Lord...but what happens when we find ourselves down in the valley or with others who are hurting?
You see, every victory we celebrate is a lesson learned...and every lesson learned is an opportunity to help others. What use is a time of plenty if we don't prepare for the hard times to come? What value does a personal encounter with the Lord have if we don't share that experience with others? But before we can answer these questions, we need to look further into the best approach to help those in need.
In Pastor Tom's sermon yesterday, titled "In The Valley", we studied the scene that unfolded "in the valley" while Peter, James and John spent time with Jesus on the mountaintop
as explained in Mark 9:14-29
. Despite their best efforts, the nine disciples who remained below were unable to heal the boy who was tormented by an evil spirit. After Jesus descended from the mountaintop and drove the spirit out of the boy, his disciples asked "Why couldn't we drive it out?", and Jesus replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."
Spending time with the Lord is key in recognizing that our strength is in Him. This time we spend "on the mountaintop" restores, renews, and refreshes us...and while that time is wonderful, we can't stay up there forever. We must go into the valley to notice that there are people in need, to find out what we have to offer, to understand what is necessary to help them, and to realize our dependence on the Lord to be able to do it. So how do we tackle the obstacles that are new to us in our efforts to help one another? As Pastor Tom pointed out in his closing comments, "prayer is the vital link in transferring the power found on the mountaintop to the desperate needs in the valley."
To listen to Pastor Tom's message, click here>