This chapter may sound dull to you, because you know as well as I do that we can pray anywhere we want to. Most likely we do. We pray when we have something come into our minds that needs prayer. The Holy Spirit prompts us and we don’t wait until we get to church the next time, or until we are kneeling by our bed at night, or when we get back to our easy chair. We pray right there, no matter where we are.
John 4:19-24 King James Version (KJV)
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Jesus and the disciples had travelled into Samaria while on their journeys. Many would go around Samaria because of the tensions between the Jews and Samaritans, but it was on the direct route between Judea and Galilee. Jesus was not one to waste any time!
It was around noon and they were tired, so they stopped at a well and the disciples went into town to get some lunch and bring it back. While they were gone, a woman came to the well by herself. Usually the women would all come together, so Jesus probably knew this woman must be an outcast for some reason because she was by herself.
Jesus asked the woman fora drink, and she was shocked. Jews just did not talk to Samaritans, especially men to Samaritan women! She asked Jesus why He was talking to her, and Jesus told her if she knew who He was she would be asking Him for water – the Living Water that only He can supply. He went on to explain Himself, which I am not going to dwell on today, and then came the portion of scripture above. The main point I want to draw out of this scripture is the fact that Jesus says there is no particular place we will worship, but as long as the Spirit is there, we are in a place of worship.
We have talked extensively on being prepared for prayer and how we should pray. As long as we follow the truth of scripture, our prayers are effective no matter where we are. Let’s take a look at the various places Jesus prayed. I am not going to display all of the entire scriptures, just the addresses.
On the Mountain. Matt 6:9-13 – Jesus teaches the disciples to pray.
In The Field – Matt 8:1-2 – Jesus comes down from the mountain and prays for a leper
On the Street – Matt 8:6-9 – Jesus prays for the centurions son in the street
In a boat on the sea – Matt 8:26 – Jesus rebukes the wind and the waves
With a swine herd – Mat 8:29-31 – Jesus casts the legion into a swine herd
In someone’s house – Matt 9:1-9 – Jesus heals the paralytic man
In a crowd – Matt 9:20-22 – woman cured from an issue of blood
By the way-side – Matt 20:28-34 – two blind men healed
During a meal – Matt 26:26-27 – Jesus prays over the bread and wine
In a garden – Matt 26:39-44 – In the Garden of Gethsemane
On the cross – Matt 27:46 – Jesus cried out to God
These are just a few examples of various places Jesus prayed, and only from the book of Matthew. If I listed them all, it would take too many pages. The point I am making is that no matter where we are, we should pray when we see a need. One of the astonishing things we read is that when people came to Jesus, or when He met them on His travels, He always took time to pray with them – no matter who was around or where He was. The Bible tells us He healed them all! Every leper, every blind man, every person possessed, every deaf and or dumb, every cripple, everyone sick – He healed them all.
What about you? I will confess that I am often intimidated by the world around me and don’t pray when I should. When I see the lame man in Walmart, I usually don’t pray for them right there. When I see someone sick at the doctor’s office, I usually don’t pray there. If I see an accident on the side of the road, I usually don’t pray for them right there. If someone comes up to me and asks me to prayer, I don’t always pray for them right there. I most often wait until I am in the comfort of my car or home, then I go to the Lord in prayer.
Jesus was not intimidated by the world. He would pray no matter who was around. He had the faith and trust in the Father that He knew the healing would take place. There was no doubt, no double-mindedness. He knew blind eyes would open, deaf would hear, lame would walk, dumb would talk, demons would leave, lepers would be healed and dead would be raised. Even in front of those who wanted Him dead, He did not back down. He healed them all!
Is that why we don’t pray? We are worried the prayer will not be answered? If we think it won’t be answered, it won’t be. James tells us that a double-minded man, one who’s faith wavers, will receive nothing from the Lord (James 1:6-8). I know that this is my problem. I don’t fully believe that they will be healed by my prayer – guilty as charged! I need my faith built, my trust in God needs to be magnified a thousand times. Then I need to step out boldly and pray for people no matter where I am or who is around me.
This world needs prayer warriors and those who will step out in faith and start praying for all the hurting people around us. Not in the quiet of our homes, but out in the streets, in the malls, in the highways and byways of life. Prayer warriors who don’t worry about who sees or who might mock us. Will you be one of these? Will I?