Text: Matthew 26:31-75
Jesus took three disciples with Him to the Garden of Gethsemane. Peter, James and John had been with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration, and Jesus needed them to stand with Him in prayer. But while Jesus prayed … they slept. While Jesus sweat great drops of blood … they snored. While Jesus cried in agony … the three men He trusted were slumbering.
Knowing that He was about to die the violent death of a criminal, they dozed and drooled.
Three times Jesus came to the disciples … and three times they were sleeping.
We become outraged at the seemingly careless actions of Peter, James and John and yet how often have we been caught giving into the twilight of lackadaisical behavior when Jesus calls our name?
We watch television when there are prayers to be prayed.
We read novels when there are people to be loved.
We snore while our culture crumbles.
Just as the Savior needed Peter, James and John … your Savior needs you. He has entrusted you with the power of prayer. He has entrusted you with the Great Commission. He has entrusted you with the Gospel.
In this Garden, Jesus prayed, “Not as I will … but as You will.” Have you ever tried praying that prayer when your life was crumbling? Have you ever prayed, “Father, Your will be done”, when faced with cruel circumstances?
If we learn nothing else from this event in the life of Jesus, we should learn to pray while others sleep and to desire the will of the Father above all else.
When Jesus finally roused the three from their slumber, they had a view in the moonlight of a mob coming up the western slope of Mt. Olive. After the mob, led by Judas, seized Jesus, Peter stayed in the courtyard of the high priest. It was there that Peter denied Jesus three times.
I wonder if Peter would have denied Jesus if he had prayed rather than slept. I wonder how different my life would be if I would pray … rather than sleep.
Copyright 2013 by Carol McLeod, all rights reserved. Carol McLeod is the founder of Just Joy Ministries, whose mission is to inspire women of all walks of life to engage in a deeper way with the Bible, and to grow in personal relationship with the Lord.
- #Personal: Daddy, by your grace; I resolve never to sleep when I should be praying or keeping watch. This, I confess, knowing full well it is possible by your grace and trusting in your word (Philippians 4: 19). So be it, Amen.
- #BodyofChrist: Help the church not to become more worldly even as the world becomes more churchy. May we not slumber whilst many perish without the knowledge of salvation and may we not deny you, especially when you need us and when it matters most, in Jesus’ Name, Amen. As you washed the disciples’ feet, dying Lord; may we serve one another in humility – always following in your example till our lives’ end, Amen.
- #Nation: My Lord and my God, raise your children to save our nation and other nations from destruction. In business, politics, government, and civil society; may your children become Apostles in the Marketplaces – like Peter on the day of Pentecost. May we not sleep when our wealth depletes and/or is devoured too, in Jesus’ Name.
- #Family: Help us to be there for one another in love, as you commanded that we love one another; and as Christ loves the church. Today, it was love that made you replace Malchus’ ear; love that kept you calm, love that made you embark upon this great journey. May we grasp this, show to our relatives, neighbours and communities, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- Other extempore prayers…