Before going to the Holy Land, I received a request from a woman to pray for her husband on the Mount of Transfiguration. The husband was suffering from throat cancer. Years back, he visited that mountain and found so much consolation and energy in his prayer there.
Why did Jesus go to this mountain?  Why did he bring his apostles with him?  Jesus went to Mount Tabor because he would need strength to face the Cross. The disciples went with him because they would need strength to live their faith in Jesus and to fight for that faith.  The Transfiguration experience was an experience of strength for Jesus and his men.
But where did their strength come from? It was not mentioned directly, but it is deeply implied.  The strength came from prayer. On the mountain, Jesus, as always when he ascended a mountain, prayed to his Father. In deep unity, he discussed his sacrifice. He also prayed for his disciples, and for their sake, they saw the vision of Moses and Elijah in conversation with the Lord.
This Lent, we remember the essential Christian disciplines. Last week, it was fasting. This week it is prayer.  While prayer seems simple, so many people  find it difficult to truly pray. We live in a world full of distractions and enticements to do most other things. Most specially, we live in an environment that makes us believe we do not need outside help, even divine help.  We can do things on our own. We have become experts of the art of control.
And why not? We live in a culture of control. We now control the earth, the sky, air and water, communications, and the future. But how come, and this is still a mystery, we cannot control the direction of our marriage, the behavior of our children, the spread of cancer? We have no mastery over our evil impulses, or the evils that engulf other people’s hearts.  We cannot even heal our personal emotional and psychological wounds.
In the end, we must accept that in this life, there are many things beyond our grasp. We need Someone who will help us confront our troubles and right the wrongs we find around us with a power that is not ours but his. Our strength is limited, as is our knowledge.  We need strength from the Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ. We need the strength, the peace and the assurance of prayer.
If fasting heals our greedy minds, then prayer heals our proud self. Prayer heals us by making us entrust our selves into the hands of the God who truly loves and cares for us. We must not be afraid that prayer will make us passive.  Rather, prayer will help us “bear (our) share of hardship …with the strength that comes from God” (2 Tim. 1:8b).
Is there anything you need to entrust to the Lord today? After doing your best, what else do you discover lying beyond your influence?  Pray with all your heart. Pray constantly and with trust.  Pray to become strong in confronting all trials.