And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Luke 22:39-46
It is Thursday evening, Jesus and His disciples have left the upper room and have gone to the Mont of Olives. We are told this is where Jesus customarily went to pray. It is most likely dark but not terribly late. There is a lot that will happen over the next few hours. Still Jesus takes time to pray. Soon He will be arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to death. Then he will immediately be executed, no appeals and no chance of pardon. Still Jesus takes time to pray.
It has been a long day and the disciples are tired. They have just finished a big meal. They fall asleep. Jesus had told them to pray, pray not to enter into temptation but they fall asleep instead. Jesus goes off a ways and prays that what is in store for him will be removed. He knows what is going to happen and He asks the Father if there is another way. But, He ends His prayer with “not my will, but yours be done.” The human Jesus wishes there was another way. He knows the pain He will soon have to endure, yet He bows to the wishes of the Father.
God sends and angel to strengthen Jesus and He continues to pray. He is in such agony, such anxiety that he literally sweats blood. He continues to pray. Finally he gets up and returns to His disciples only to find them asleep. He again exhorts them to wake and pray not to fall into temptation. Soon He will be taken from them. Arrested and put on trial.
No matter what happened or was going to happen, Jesus always took time to pray. He never neglected His time with the Father. I know that sometimes when a crisis happens the first thing I do is try to fix it. What I should do is take time to pray. Sometimes I am like the disciples, too tired to pray. I think I will pray tomorrow. Yet, if Jesus can take time when he is about to be arrested to pray what in my life is so important that I cannot spend time with God? Jesus did not get a quick prayer off as He was being arrested He took time, time to be in communion with God. Time we all need to take every day.
Have a blessed day,