Sustained by praying
Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be deeply distressed and horrified. Then He said to them, “My soul is swallowed up in sorrow—to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.” Then He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Then He came and found them sleeping. “Simon, are you sleeping?” He asked Peter. “Couldn’t you stay awake one hour? Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:32-38
When a Christian prays, great and marvelous things happen in their life. From the text, Jesus took with Him Peter, James and John to be with Him as He prays. Previous to this, James and John were arguing about who will sit in the prominent places in heaven (see Mark 10). While Peter told Jesus that others will deny Him, but He will not and He will remain true to the end. “Peter told Him, “Even if everyone runs away, I will certainly not!” (Mark 14:29). These three men were so naïve that they made presumptions that they were strong enough to overcome challenges and temptations as followers of Christ. Yet, at the instant in a moment of trial, when Jesus asked them to stay awake while He was praying, they slept. They already sensed the sorrow Jesus was going through and they saw Him “fell to ground.” They also heard Him pray in a loud voice. “During His earthly life, He offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence” (Hebrews 5:7). Though there was anguish in the tone of His voice and His demeanor, yet He was willing to submit to the Father’s will. Several times in the Gospel of Mark (1:35, 6:46, and here), we read about Jesus coming to a place where He could pray. The Lord Jesus Christ valued prayer that it became the means of which He was sustained even in the face of death on the cross. He provided us an example to follow. He did not always receive what He asked for such as His desire to be spared from experiencing suffering and death on the cross. If the Son of God needed to come to the Father to pray so he could always be in the Father’s will, how much more us who are adopted to His Kingdom when we accepted Him as Lord and Savior. Prayer is what will make as strong. If you feel weak in your spiritual life and you do not experience being filled by the Holy Spirit, it might be that you are not spending sufficient time in prayer. Maybe you are more into pursuing your own plan rather than pursuing the Father’s will. Do not be naïve and just presume that on your own you are strong spiritually. Commit yourself to devote continual time in prayer. Ask God that He will have you live your life under His authority as you take part in expanding His kingdom on earth. When you do, God will work in your life just as He did in the lives of Jesus and His disciples.
Noel De Guzman