Read Matthew 26:40-41.
“Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” This was the question Jesus poses to his closest disciples as they dozed off instead of praying with him.
I don’t see Jesus as being annoyed by their lethargy. His question ran deeper. He knew that these moments in the Garden of Gethsemane were crucial. It would be a time of preparation through prayer. Preparation for the intense challenges that lay ahead.
“Watch and pray so you will not fall into temptation,” he warns the three disciples whom he had called with him.
We know what comes later. When the going got tough, the disciples scattered like the wind. I can’t help but wonder: what if they, like Jesus, had wrestled in prayer till they came to a point of complete obedience and surrender? Would they have been able to stand their ground when Jesus was arrested?
Jesus knew just how fragile their faith could be. And he gave them – and gives us – the armor of prayer to guard against that fragility.
Bringing It Home
What is my instinctual response in the face of pressure? Do I spend time in prayer to prepare for my daily battles? Do I go in fight or flight mode? Or do I stay in faith mode, depending on God to see me through?
Father God, help me never to discount the power of prayer. Help me carve out time to spend at your feet, wrestling with you in prayer so I gain the spiritual mettle I need to face challenges. I need that alone time with you to prepare so I don’t fall into temptation. Amen.