praying in tongues, praying in the Spirit, Holy Spirit prayer, travail
How praying in the Spirit changed a tense situation
March 28, 2024
Jesus disciples storm wind waves

Ship in a Storm - Seascape by Ivan Aivazovsky

Recently in prayer, the passage in Matthew 14 came to mind in which Jesus sends His disciples onto a ship while He lingers on land to pray:

Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. After He had sent them away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone,  but the boat was already far from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it (Matt. 14-22-24, Berean Standard Bible).

I looked up the text and in the King James, the word “contrary” is used to described the wind. In Greek, the word there means “in opposition to, against.”

It was us I saw as the disciples. That is, the faces of many in my circle who love the Lord and are standing in His righteousness. Some are pastors trying to rally other pastors from apathy into prayer. One is someone vigiling every week at an abortion mill and offering help to those being dumped at its door. Some are those who ran for school board to serve their community, only to find themselves in a financial and PR mess due to the ineptitude of previous boards, union strongholds, and a widespread assertion from within the schools at every bi-weekly meeting that budgeting and fiscal responsibility is cruelty to children.

We all did what the Lord sent us out to do. We got on board the ship – our individual calling – because Jesus told us to.

But here we are on the sea, and the storm is bigger than us. The wind is contrary – in opposition to us. And we’re battered.

And in the midst of the wind-lashing and skin-soaking tumult that threatens to sink us, a steady pelting of solemn rebukes issues forth from well-meaning fellow Christians for boarding the ship in the first place. There are other pursuits Christ sanctions. Why step into the vessel that draws the tempest of controversy?

The Clipper Ship

As I contemplated this picture, another formed. It was of a clipper ship, with its great square-rigged masts unfurled. She was floating on a placid sea but going nowhere. Waiting, positioned. Suddenly, the wind came and her great sails billowed to capacity. She was launched – cutting through the waters like she owned them.

If Christ doesn’t change the nature and direction of the wind, we are powerless against it. The Commonwealth in which I live was William Penn’s “holy experiment,” and what he prophetically declared to be the “seed of a nation.”

“If men will not be governed by God, they must be ruled by tyrants,” he warned. “There is a time to pray and a time to act,” declares the inscription in stone on a wall outside the state capitol.

Now we find ourselves in a black hole of corruption, bureaucratic overreach, and Mindlessness. In my state, you can drive down the road to a dispensary and obtain an undisclosed amount of cannabis. But you’ll get raided by the FBI if you’re a farmer who sells raw milk to your neighbor.

Men have chosen not to be governed by God. And our cities are cesspools and our schools are psych wards.

And yet, there are still disciples in their ship, obeying the Master, interceding for their city.

So we say, “Lord, you’ve not called us to failure or to be destroyed by raging gales. Won’t you change the direction of the wind in this hour?”

Emily Tomko
Emily Tomko
Emily writes with fierce compassion and a deep desire to see people freed from the miry clay of this world and walking in the truth. Emily is available to minister at women’s retreats and youth functions, college fellowships, and business women meetings.

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