A Time to Pray, Not a Time to Sleep

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Matthew 26

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.

44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

Our Lord knew what was next, He has spoken of it to His disciples and even to the crowd. As we consider the humanity of Christ, we see the frailty of human flesh for just knowing what was next did not prepare the Savior, He needed to pray. Do you find it interesting that Christ in flesh even asked His disciples to watch and pray with Him? This was the most important moment in history and the disciples missed it because they gave in to sleep instead of watching in prayer. Christ’s rebuke of them is stunning. He gave them a specific moment of watchful prayer and they slept.

My friends, the world is in another defining moment. Over 100,000 people who were well one, two and three months ago are terribly sick, some have recovered, many have not. Hospitals are filling up, supplies are running low, and medical professionals are weary. Financial markets are collapsing and fortunes are being swept away. Major corporations are facing the reality of bankruptcy putting untold amounts of people out of work. People are coming to grips with their humanity. Let us remember the call of Jesus to His disciples to watch and to pray.

God has never lost control of this world. It is His creation and He is not a distanced deity waiting to see how it all works out. In times of God’s judgment He always calls His people to pray. Are you praying more? Are you gathering for prayer? Is your pastor calling you to greater prayer? Are you calling your pastor to more prayer? Though written to Israel, the principle of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is timeless. God told His people that when they strayed from Him and found themselves in great affliction that when they called out to him and confessed their sins with humility that God would hear their prayers, forgive their sins, and heal their lands. Our sins, on a world-wide basis, are great before God. Let’s lead the parade here and confess our sins and then the sins of others as we cry out to God in a time where watchful prayer is so desperately needed.

Our son Justin and his wife and four sons are with us here in Jakarta. It is a joy from God to have them with us. They bring so much energy and life to every waking hour. We are taking them on a short trip next week and they are quite excited in anticipation.

 Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

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