Mark 14:32 They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” 33 He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. 34 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 35 He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. 36 “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 37 Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour?
38 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
When Jesus faced his greatest crisis, he prayed (sought his Father). Jesus wanted his closest friends to pray with him. Jesus called the inner circle (Peter, James and John) to join him in prayer in his darkest hour. (v. 32-33)
Jesus was overwhelmed. He knows what it feels like to face agony and crushing circumstances. He asked God, “Please take this away from me.” Even Jesus dealt with unanswered prayer.
- Father (Abba) – Jesus sought his Dad for help.
- Ask Anything – Jesus believed God can do all things. Anything is possible when we pray to a loving Father.
- Cup – (of God’s wrath/judgment). Jesus wanted to escape the suffering/trial before him.
- Your will be done – Jesus accepted that God may have something better (trusting the love of the Father).
Watch and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. Praying is what helps us overcome temptation. Our flesh (our own strength/our own resolve) is weak and prone to fail under pressure. Only when we are praying… seeking God… will the Spirit in us help us overcome temptation.
But it is so easy to fall asleep instead of praying. Thank God for his grace and mercy. Jesus’ blood covers us, he is interceding for us and helps us get back up after failing (like he restored Peter after this failure).
“What profound irony Gethsemane conceals, for when Jesus feels most excluded from God’s presence he is in fact closest to God’s will!” – Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 436).
Three things we learn about praying from Jesus in his darkest hour;
- We need friends to pray with.
- We need to trust that God loves us and has a good plan. There were times when even Jesus’s prayers were unanswered because God had something better.
- We need to pray when struggling with temptation. God knows our flesh is weak and the Spirit living in us will help us overcome temptation as we pray.