Prayer is Accessing the Power of God
"And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone." (Matthew 14:23)
Jesus, after performing the miracle of feeding the five thousand, went away for prayer alone. The disciples were sent away and Jesus was alone. He was not worried about the lack of conveyance for Himself to reach Capernaum. The disciples did not feel the need for prayer. They had not entered the real spiritual arena, where a man of God has to encounter the powers of darkness in battle. The devil is not very bothered about converted people outside the will of God. "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2). One needs to be continually renewed in the mind. The Word of God, and the Spirit of God continually revolutionize one's thinking. When you are in the perfect will of God, the devil takes you to be his special enemy. St. Paul was all set to journey to Asia, but that night the Lord guided him to go to Europe. Going to Asia was good. But it was not the perfect will of God.
The question is whether we have entered the arena to fight the devil. If so, you will know that you have to go away for prayer. Only if you maintain your spiritual life on the proper level, the living water will flow out of you to those at a lower level. Jesus' disciples at that time were not spiritually sensitive. So He let them have their own ways till they came to the position of understanding their spiritual level. Jesus knew His level, but Peter did not know his level. Even in the garden of Gethsemane he was sleeping because he was unaware of the battle that was going to be unleashed on him. His strength would be totally inadequate and he did not know it. Jesus was in prayer in the first part of the night. But the disciples were rowing away. The devil was opposing them and they could not progress on their way. Only when Jesus entered the boat it immediately reached the shore. He came walking on the sea. It is only when we pray, that we discover the unknown and do new things. When Jesus came into the ship, the wind ceased. It is an economy of time to be in the will of God. These people were struggling and struggling till Jesus finished his prayer and reached them. Don't evaluate the cost of prayer either in money or time. We want to save time by denying God His chance to work on us and be with us. Finally you find like Peter that you begin to sink. You will be caught in deep waters. Jesus was never caught like that. As soon as He reached Gennesaret, they brought to Him all the sick and He was equal to all their needs. When Jesus was fasting and praying forty days, all the forty days the devil was tempting Him, because if He completed those forty days of prayer successfully the devil's kingdom would be pulled down. We must be like our Lord. We must be spiritually alert.