The miracles that Jesus performed were
done with such ease that the methods defy analysis. Like a great
baseball pitcher who throws the ball with such lightning speed that we
hardly can see it, Christ furnishes so great an ideal for us that we
despair of following in His footsteps.
Fortunately, Jesus left for us one
example of what I might call a slow motion, close-up view of His
technique of healing people who were sick. Careful study of this
incident will present a perfect model for us to follow with confidence
that we are following in the right path.
I invite your attention to Mark 9:2: “And
after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and
leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves” (KJV).
“Six days shalt thou labor” (Ex. 20:9),
says the Scriptures, and that phrase “six days” has symbolized good
honest work. Our high
moments of prayer come, not out of neglecting our duties and
responsibilities, but they grow out of facing life’s hard realities with
faithfulness and honest toil.
Woe unto us, however, if we become so
engrossed in our tasks that we forget to take the time to go apart once
in a while and pray. As a climax to any hard work there should always
come a place and time for prayer.
The Quiet Hour
Mark continued saying: “Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and
John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves” (v.
2). The highest moments of group prayer come only when we have a
carefully selected group who are perfectly in tune with us.
These three were the only ones of the 12
that Jesus could count on to ascend to the highest understanding of
prayer. In times of extreme need it is our duty to take into the inner
closet with us only those who are completely in tune with each other and
who possess unquestioning faith in the power of the healing love of
But suppose you are going alone into the
“secret place of the most High” (Ps. 91:1), without three spiritual friends
available to go with you? I suggest that you take with you only these
highest attributes of your mind and soul: faith, hope and love, and
deposit all fears, doubts, angers, jealousies, lusts and greed down at
the mountain foot.
When you enter into your quiet time, it
is well to take a few books along. First, the Bible-—a statement of the
laws of God’s power. Second, bring a collection of poems, prayers or
inspired prophetic literature that will lift your vision to the very
The laws will furnish foundation to your
belief; the prophetic literature will furnish inspiration.
Thus fortified in the quiet hour, you will be
ready to emerge into any situation with the light of victory shining in
Peter would have rested satisfied in that
hour on the mountaintop, and with that purpose in mind, exclaimed:
“Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three
tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias” (Mark
Jesus knew better. Such a transcendent
experience was merely preparation for the humble work of helping His
matter how marvelous this experience with God on the mountaintop may be,
it always comes at last to an end (see Mark 9:8). We cannot live in the
mystic cloud of oneness that shuts out the view of the work-a-day
world, all day long.
When the period of meditation and prayer
has run its course, it often ends quite suddenly. But God abides deep
within us, and the power of that hour will accompany us along the way,
ready to work miracles upon whomever comes into our presence with faith
However, power generated in this quiet
time may be easily dissipated in a way that we least expect. It is so
very easy to let idle talk enter in after such a spiritual time. Jesus does not fail to make this
law clear: “And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them
that they should tell no man what things they had seen” (Mark 9:9).
In the Valley
this mountaintop vision manifests itself with miraculous power upon the
sick in the valley below. Into this picture comes an example of one of
the most difficult of all illnesses for prayer to heal.
The situation is rendered doubly
difficult because the father of the sick one has asked the disciples to
heal him, and their attempts have failed (see Mark 9:17-19). To make
matters worse, the son has an attack right there, as the father is
speaking (see v. 20).
First of all, Jesus asked the question,
“How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
And oftimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to
destroy him” (vv. 21-22).
I have often asked a person in trouble to
tell how it began, and when he is finished I would say, “It ends right
Then we have a little prayer time
together, in which he gives his end of it, which he is confident that he
knows, and I give the end of it, which I am confident that I know, into
the hands of the Father. When two agree together in this way in giving
any trouble or any illness completely into the hands of the Father, He
always takes it away (see Matt. 18:19).