“When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish. “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!”
So often when we pray, we have a picture or image of the way in which we want or expect our prayers to be answered. ‘Lord, please do this and this, in this and this way,’ we cry, yet when the answer to our prayer does not look like we imagined, we think God hasn’t listened to us.
Imagine the scene in today’s key verse from Luke’s Gospel. Peter, a seasoned fisherman, had been out all night trying to catch fish, yet here he is, being told by a carpenter to cast his nets again, in the middle of the day. Peter could have easily said, ‘Jesus, I am the fisherman, let me fish my way’. But he didn’t. Instead of insisting that his ways were better than Jesus’, he obediently obeyed and cast his nets out again, and the catch of fish was so great, his ‘boat was on the verge of sinking.’ Again, in John 21, Peter is fishing after the resurrection of Jesus, and once more was struggling to catch fish. Jesus tells Peter to throw his net over the other side of the boat, and again, miraculously the catch was so big, they struggled to haul in the nets.
Friends, perhaps this morning, Jesus is saying to us too, to cast our nets of prayer once again, into the deep, into the darkness that might represent hopelessness for you, into the empty space of waiting, then watch and see the haul of answered prayers coming your way. Perhaps we too, need to cast our prayers into the other side of the boat, not expecting answered prayers our way, but trusting that His ways are higher than our own. He knows the right answer, at just the right time, in just the right way. Trust Him, just as Peter did, and see the haul of answered prayers and blessings coming your way; so many and so much you can’t contain it.