Peter in particular seems to have had a proclivity for a recurring “impulse control disorder,” the therapy for which Jesus prescribed was an hour of flesh-denying, spirit-strengthening prayer.
All three nodded off during prayer––three times! What happens when we drowse instead of casting our fears and cares on God? We retain our fears and rely on swordsmanship for protection and for the advancement of the cause of Christ. Prayerless Christians have been known to be some of the most reckless ones.
They napped through prayer and Peter woke up swinging. Had they spent time in the needed time in prayer that night instead of dozing, the story might have ended differently. Their willing spirits might have won over their weak flesh and garnered enough self-control to keep their swords scabbarded.
Even if we can’t seem to pray for an hour it might be good if we just pause for a while, if for no other reason than to reduce our frenetic heart rate and thereby avoid less than productive evangelistic encounters.
– Originally published in Reaching Rahab: Joining God In His Quest For Friends