I know someone who got very upset about the idea of having to do prayers. I’d told him about the Jewish idea of having to say 100 blessings a day. He didn’t think this was a good idea. He thought that it sounded oppressive.
But discipline and order are good things. If we impose order upon our lives we can get stronger in many ways. Otherwise we are formless.
If your leg is broken you put a cast on it to make it stronger. The cast gives it a shape to grow into so it doesn’t grow crooked.
If you have a bonsai tree you carefully shape it with wires to make it have a beautiful shape.
If you are pouring concrete you have to put a form down so that the concrete doesn’t go everywhere.
The same is true of tomatoes or of peonies. You have to give them something to grow up against so that they don’t grow wild.
When we impose a discipline to our lives we are making ourselves into disciples. We are making ourselves stronger by making ourselves fit into a particular form or mold, one that we know to be good for us. It isn’t something that we have to do but it is something that we should do.
It is just like with Peter when he was walking out on the water to Jesus, he said “Lord if you command me I will go”. Peter needed to be commanded by Jesus in order to walk on the water.
We too can work miracles if we allow ourselves to be commanded. We allow ourselves to be commanded by adopting order and discipline into our lives. We aren’t giving up control or free will at all. We are strengthening ourselves by allowing order into our lives.