Gethsemane

New to this weekly devotional blog? If you’d like to follow, click on the ribbon at the bottom of the page to receive it. Climb on, enjoy God’s Word.

Eyewitness: p.234
Eyewitness Stories: Matthew 26:39
The Message: Mark 14:32-36; Luke 22:43,44
In Your Bible: Mark 14:32-36

At Gethsemane, Jesus took the disciples aside with him to pray. This would be the last time he’d speak with them prior to the daunting task he would meet at the cross. At this critical time, he needed to affirm what the Father wanted. Jesus did what we should do—we too should ask what God wants of us.

Jesus’ Earnest Prayer

The Master took those closest to him (James, Peter, and John) further aside, to be nearer in this difficult time. These three had seen his glory at the Transfiguration and would now see his suffering at Gethsemane.  “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” (Mark 14:34 Message).

Now we see the intimacy of his plea to the Father . . . “He went about a stone’s throw away, fell to his knees, face to the ground, and prayed [emphasis mine]. ‘My Father, everything is possible for you. Let me escape this suffering. Nevertheless, I want your will, not mine’” (Matthew 26:39 Eyewitness Stories).

The Disciples Failed In Their Vigil

  • Jesus prayed then stopped and returned to the disciples, but found them asleep. He chastened them.
  • He returned to pray, then went back and found them asleep again!
  • He returned to pray, a third time and returned to find them asleep!
  • Jesus chastened them, told them to get up and leave Gethsemane with him because his time had come.

Help From An Angel

Only in the Gospel of Luke do we find God sending an angel to comfort and help to his Son. Selah. “At once an angel from heaven was at his side, strengthening him. He prayed on all the harder. Sweat, wrung from him like drops of blood, poured off his face” (Luke 22:43,44 Message).

At Gethsemane, Jesus’ deep intimate prayer was interrupted by the disciples’ physical inability to stay alert and wait for him. This should be a notice for believers today to be strong in prayer and not slumber in it! Jesus did what we should do—we too should ask what God wants of us.

Prayer: Father, I need your help to be steadfast in prayer. Please help me.

Question: How do you feel about falling asleep when you pray? It is human to do so, but yes, we feel guilty, don’t we? The Spirit will help in overcoming our weaknesses. Can Jesus can help us be more diligent here? YES.

EARNESTLY PRAY FOR THE NATION

ID-100102806Merely six months after National Day of Prayer for the USA, believers see an even greater need for prayer. The nation’s embattled Senate, House of Representatives, and Executive Branch failed to negotiate sensibly on legislation that would seriously shape the economy and effect all Americans in the immediate future.

Pride, Power, Politics, and Pettiness seem to rule rather than humility, honor, and helping find common ground. My attempt this week is to show God’s perspective and not the perspective mankind seems to seek first.

GOD’S WARNING AGAINST DISOBEDIENCE

A key Scripture helps believers when this confusion arises and no seemingly good outcome is possible. Solomon prayed to God for an answer on how his land/nation could be healed in a time of crisis. Eugene Peterson communicates God’s response profoundly: “…..My people, My God-defined people, [must] respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking My presence, and [then] turning their backs on their wicked lives, [yes] I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health” (The Message 2 Chronicles 7:14).

WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

The believer’s obligation remains:
* Pray
* Seek what God wants (even though it may not be what we want)
* Be strong
* Be courageous yet humble

Application: When troubled times arise, and they will, God knows and wants us on our knees seeking – His best solution. Prayer, listening to God, and seeking Him are active processes – not passive ones. Join in – pray earnestly.

Photo of flag courtesy of Michael Elliot at freedigitalphotos.net