Forty Days of Prayer March 28
Sometimes prayer is very strong and powerful. That is the case when Jesus prays on this night. Jesus knows what is going to happen on the next day so His prayer wrestles with what is easier for Him or what is the will of God. That is often the struggle we have in life and with sin.
They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” (Mark 14:32-42)
Gethsemane or the Mount of Olives was a half way point between Jerusalem and Bethany where Jesus was staying this week. Bethany was about two miles outside of Jerusalem. The custom each day was to stop and pray here for a while on there way back to Bethany where they were staying with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Jesus knows everything is possible when one prays, because everything is possible for God. The struggle in prayer here is personal requests, versus the greater will of God. This was hard prayer. In Luke’s account of this he describes sweat mixed with blood (Luke 22:44) falling from Jesus’ face. This payer highlights the struggle I imagine God has between personal requests and the need for the greater good. The will of God goes to each of us in the grace of Jesus, yet also extends to others. We see that in the life and death of Jesus. Remember that tension when you pray for it is one reality that God always deals with. So Jesus prays, “Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
Jesus asked Peter, James, and John to pray with Him for one hour. Yet they could not stay awake because they were tired. This Holy Week Jesus asks each of us to pray with Him. Sometime we are also tired. Sometimes we are too busy. Sometimes are minds are somewhere else. The grace of this day is that Jesus prioritized us. His mind and His life were given for us.
In Christ’s Service, Pastor Dave
Lord Jesus, may Your will be done, in my life today. Help me to pray with you an hour. Thank you that You stopped to pray even knowing that those coming to arrest you were on there way. Isaiah spoke of You when he said, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)