March 22: Will You Pray?
We are now in the final hours of Jesus’ journey to the cross. During the Passover meal, Judas left the group to go find the religious leaders who so hated Jesus. He filled them in on where to find Jesus over the next few hours. They had been looking for a quiet time and place to arrest Jesus, a place where the mob would not turn on them as they did the deed. Judas knew that Jesus and the disciples were heading for the Garden of the Gethsemane, or olive oil press, located just outside of Jerusalem.
And sure enough, when the Passover celebration and meal were ended, Jesus and the disciples headed there. When they got to the outskirts of the garden, Jesus told 8 of the disciples to rest there. But he requested that his three closest friends, Peter, James and John, come a little farther into the garden with him. They did – and he asked them to “watch and pray” while he went farther still.
Jesus wrestled with his humanity that night. As Jesus who was fully God, He knew exactly what was coming and what it would cost. And as Jesus who was fully man, He wrestled with the awfulness of the whole thing. He even prayed to God the Father to “let this cup pass from me”.
And the disciples? Snoozing. It was late and they had had a big meal. There had been drama of all sorts from the time Jesus washed their feet until the time they “sang a hymn and went out”. And Jesus understood. He told them that he knew that their spirits were willing but their flesh was weak. They wanted to do the right thing – they just struggled to do it.
Oh, how much are we like them!?! We know the right things to do – we struggle to do them. We know we have the best news ever – but we struggle to share it, letting fear stop our mouths. We know that prayer changes things – but we struggle to find the time to talk to God. We know that spending time in His Word is spiritual food – but a thousand other things distract us from time with Him.
The difference, though? They did not have the Holy Spirit at work in them – yet. They did not have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead indwelling them – yet. They received Him soon after this – and when they did, the Bible says, they “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).
So why aren’t we “turning the world upside down”? We have the Holy Spirit. Access to the Throne of Grace. The Word of God in our heart language – in several translations.
We have the power. So for us, it comes down to deciding. Choosing. What is your choice? Will you watch and pray? Will you allow God to use you to “turn the world upside down”?
Adoration: Thank God for the power of the Holy Spirit that indwells you as a believer. Consider praying back to Him Acts 1:8 (AMP), thanking Him that YOU have “…received power and ability when the Holy Spirit came upon you; and that you will be His witness [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem (i.e., your home town) and in all Judea, and Samaria, (i.e., your state and country) and even to the ends of the earth.”
Confession: Tell God where you have struggled to be faithful in prayer and the Word. Ask Him to help you to faithfully “watch and pray” as we await His return.
Thanksgiving: Thank God for his mercy! Thank Him that He did not speak harshly to the sleeping disciples but was gentle with them, even in the hours of His greatest agony.
Supplication: Ask God to fill you anew with His power and to show you what thoughts, habits or attitudes are keeping you from living out His resurrection power in your day to day life.