After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves, because the wind was against it. Matthew 14:23-24 (NIV)
This is a marvelous picture. The disciples were obeying Jesus’ command to get in the boat by themselves and go to the other side of the lake. They were obeying Jesus’ instructions, and their obedience led them into great trouble.
All the while, Matthew tells us, Jesus was praying by Himself. They could not see Jesus, because He was not physically present with them. But He could see them. Mark tells us specifically that Jesus “saw the disciples straining at the oars” (Mark 6:48).
What a marvelous illustration of what we experience in the Christian life. We are committed to a life of obedience to Christ. And having launched out, we quickly find that living an authentic Christian life is more difficult than we imagined. We find ourselves straining against the currents of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and it often seems like we are making little progress.
But Jesus is praying for us. He has ascended into heaven, where He has given Himself wholly to the work of intercession. He represents us before the Father. We cannot see Him, but He sees us, and He knows everything about us.
Are you aware that Jesus sees your struggles today, even though you don’t see Him? Can you name some of the things He sees? What do you imagine He is praying for you today?