Matthew 26:36-40 (KJV)
36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
Jesus was nearing the ending of His time on earth. His public ministry was almost over. He knew that the end would not be easy. He knew he would need the Fathers’ strength to make it though. So, he went to pray. He invited three disciples to join. This story has several points I want to share.
1. The disciples were given a tremendous privilege
Only three were given an opportunity to accompany Christ. They didn’t realize this was their last prayer meeting with Christ. He taught them to pray, now he wanted them to join Him in communion with the Father. What an incredible privilege that was.
2. The only strength we receive is through the Father
The disciples couldn’t help Jesus through what he was about to endure. They wouldn’t even understand what was happening. How lonely this must have been. Yet Jesus wasn’t alone. He had the Father with Him until the moment the Father had to turn away. God’s strength is the only way He could make it though.
3. How often do we miss what God is trying to do
Jesus was asking for the disciples to pray on His behalf. Yet the three disciples kept falling asleep. This was on the eve of the biggest spiritual battle in history, yet they couldn’t keep their eyes open. Their focus wasn’t on what is should have been.
What do these things have to do with me?
1. We are given the same opportunity to access the Father with Christ. When we pray, Jesus is advocating for us while sitting next to the father.
2. People however good their intentions cannot give us the strength to get through difficult situations. The strength we need only comes from the Father. When we are lacking spiritual strength often it’s because we have not been close to the Him.
3. Jesus said to Peter, “What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” With an imminent spiritual battle an hour was too long for Peter to pray. Before we’re too hard on Peter, have we ever prayed for an hour? What spiritual battle is worthy of an hour? The salvation of our kids? Our family? Revival?
Jesus demonstrates the vital need we have to pray to obtain victory. Mabe it’s time to spend a little more time with the Father.