Ministry Resources

Coffee Stains: Sleepy Peter

Author: David Porter

I’m glad Peter is in the Bible. It’s like I have my own personal representative who did a lot of the same dumb stuff I do. He’s always getting his ears boxed verbally.

Take praying for instance.

Jesus wanted his close friends Peter, James, and John to stick with Him while He prayed before His final trial, but, alas,

‘He came back and found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, ”˜Simon, you went to sleep on me? Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don’t enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don’t be naive. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.’ (Mark 14:3738 The Message)

Peter was good at sleeping when he should have been praying. Some time later, God’s enemies pitched Peter into prison for preaching. The next day they were going to kill him. That night the church was awake and calling on God. And Peter? When the angel came with a blaze of light to rescue him, he was putting up z’s, so the heavenly visitor had to strike him on the side to wake him up (kind of like my wife does when I snore too loudly).

Lucky for him the Church was interceding.

I wonder how many calamities I’ve been spared because people prayed for me?

Prayer doesn’t seem like such a big thing but it is horribly important. Jesus won the battle of the Cross in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His ordeal as he agonized in prayer. He longed for his best friends to struggle alongside him but there they were, laid out, mouth open  ‘zzzzzzzsnarksnork!’

They simply didn’t realize how desperate the situation was. Jesus knew that His whole story was coming to a head. He saw the enemy at the gate. He knew that contact with His Father through prayer would give Him the strength to win the most important battle that history had ever known.

But his friends didn’t pray with Him. When the storm broke they were reduced to an ineffective sword swing (Peter was aiming for a fellow’s head and got his ear), and ran for their lives after they had pledged loudly shortly before that, ‘Me, Lord? Ain’t no way I’ll ever deny you! No, no. Not me!’

Notice here: prayer didn’t get Jesus out of the problem. It got Him through the problem. We have the idea that if we just pray enough we’ll be spared the hard things of life. That does work sometimes, but often God doesn’t change the situation. He changes us so that we are victorious in the situation. We don’t simply receive answers–we grow.

We receive strength to win when we pray.

So wake up Peter (and David) and get on those knees. Prayer really is making a difference.


Dreams will never be realized without risks. Love will never be experienced without exposure. You can’t even help another person without risking being hurt yourself. (Mountain Wings Devotional,

What's Next

We would love to answer any question you have or help suggest next steps on your journey.