“While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’ And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you.“ Matthew 26:26-27
(Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19-20, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25)
One of the more important, and perhaps one of the most under-rated words in the Bible may be repeated expression, translated as, “while.” It appears things are not always what they seem to be in The Kingdom. While an event may be scheduled, and Jesus chooses to be present, He often has an entirely different agenda in mind for the occasion.
Note to self: The Cross looked like it was the worst thing that could happen. It wasn’t. Never forget this. Looks can be deceiving. “While” you are in it, don’t panic at the sight of it. Run to Jesus and pray your way through it.
“While” insane crises surged into His life, or mundane circumstances siphon strength out of His life, Jesus prayed and stayed in touch with The Father. By praying in His Spirit, Jesus empowers His followers to replace fear with faith, and make sense out of the senseless.
The prayerless miss Jesus “while” trying to keep their head above water through tumultuous times. The prayerful find fresh meaning in life, even when time stands still. They refuse to just go through the motions. They discover fresh faith, and prayer fueled expectancy, with every breath of prayer.
“While” The Twelve gathered to share the traditional feast of The Passover with Jesus, He gave it a whole new meaning to them. At the close of The Supper, Jesus had a few final words for them. After all is said and done, what really matters in life is what Jesus says and does, after we have done all we can do.
“While” is that side of life that appears to be the worst thing that can happen. Prayer takes the time to bring the infuriating, and the uninspiring seasons of life to The Father, in the name of The Son. Through prayer, fearful and faithless eyes can become adjusted to the dark, and see what The Father had in mind all along the way.
“While” takes place in the furnaces or on the shelves of life. Prayerful people refuse to be prideful. They give The Spirit elbow-room in their lives, and seek The Father’s direction. They humbly seek His protection in the furnace or His correction on the shelf. Through prayer, their prideful will is yielded to The Father’s will.
Prayer has a way of clearing away the fog of war and allowing a prayer warrior to see the battle is won, and their lives are in the hand of The Father. From a prayerless perspective, people panic in the furnace or put down roots on the shelf. They begin to believe the end has come, when the best is yet to come.
Even prayerful people can become victims of their past successes and answered prayers. They grow comfortable on the shelf, succumbing to the lie of the evil one, “It just doesn’t get any better than this.” Prayer brings The Father’s children into His arms, in the name of The Son, and He raises them above their own perspective to reveals His own view.
“While they were eating,” Jesus was preparing Himself to share with His disciples, that the best is yet to come. It still is. Thank you, Jesus.
Some of The Father’s greatest gifts to His children are wrapped up in the scariest packaging, and tied up with a thorny bow. Prayerful children receive The Father’s perspective and follow His directive “while” they are in the furnace or on the shelf. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!