I’m continuing with the study of prayer. Today we will join Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane to discover what we can learn. The account of Jesus in the Garden is recorded in three of the Gospels. It is found in Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; and Luke 22:39-46.
Clichés generally have a nugget of truth in them as is the case with the phrase, “More is caught than taught.” Mankind does absorb much knowledge about life through those around us. It would have been the same with the disciples who spent three years in close companionship with Jesus. Therefore, we are going to observe what Jesus taught the disciples through his life actions and spoken words.
He went out and made his way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he told them, “Pray that you may not fall into temptation.” Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me—nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
Then an angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him. Being in anguish, he prayed more fervently, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he got up from prayer and came to the disciples, he found them sleeping, exhausted from their grief. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you won’t fall into temptation” (Luke 22:39-46, CSB).
Jesus had a routine practice
Made his way as “usual” indicates this was a practice, a routine in his life. It is wise to make prayer a regular routine in one’s life.
It’s alright to seek support
Jesus had his disciples come along with him to a point. “He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. He said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.’ He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and prayed…” (Mark 14:34-35, CSB). Others cannot fight our spiritual battles for us, we do that with God alone but we can gain encouragement from them. There are times when the presence/support of another provides a shred of hope or confidence we need to endure and proceed further with God.
Jesus wrestled with emotions
His time in the Garden is intense with emotion. In Matthew and Mark’s recollection we find words and phrases like: sorrowful, distressed, troubled, and deeply grieved. We can hear the frustration as Jesus finds them sleeping, “Couldn’t you stay awake one hour?”
Jesus prays until coming to the place of resolute peace with the Father’s plan and purpose. We can gain victories by this practice too. Jesus did not deny, disregard, or stuff his human emotions. He wrestled with them in the spirit and prayer. He lingered long enough to have victory over them.
Demonstration of persistence
Jesus poured out his longing to the Father three times. He returned again and again expressing his desire to the Father.
Strength from Heaven
An angel was sent to minster to Jesus and he was strengthened. I will not claim an angel will minister but experience has taught me that prayer does strengthen me through the power of the Holy Spirit, who was sent to us from Heaven.
Obedience and surrender
The culmination of his prayer time was full and complete surrender to the Father.
Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us taught some significant life-lessons about prayer during his time in the Garden. Can your prayer time be bolstered by imitating the practices of Jesus?
Father God, thank You for teaching us not only by written and spoken word but through the life of Jesus. Thank you for revealing the victory gained over intense emotions. Father, we long for the resolute peace Jesus attained when surrendering to Your plan. Make us persistent in spiritual battles and humble enough to seek support when encouragement is needed. Thank You for strengthening us with daily grace and mercies. We pray in the strong name of Jesus. Amen.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About section if you want to read more of my story.
Copyright © 2020-2021 Musings of Manette Kay™ All rights reserved. Requests to the author and publisher, Manette Kay, for permission.
Painting of Jesus Christ by Bob Bello from Pixabay.
Scripture added by Manette Kay.