Choosing To Pray When In Distress
We all know what happened in Gethsemane. We all know the intensity that Jesus felt in that place. We all know the sense of urgency he felt, the tears and the sweat and the emotions that overwhelmed him at that moment. He knows what will happen in a few hours and as a result, he cherished that little garden and made that moment a time of solitude with his Father in heaven.
If you were there simply observing Jesus and what he said to his Father, you would definitely notice that the conversation was much lengthier than what had been recorded in the Gospels. You would notice that Jesus felt all kinds of emotions in that time because of what he had felt for himself, his mission, his disciples, his future disciples and the people who will persecute him. But amidst the conversation lies Jesus’ dependence on his Father through the act of praying.
He Was Troubled And He Chose To Pray
In the Gospel of Matthew, what was really interesting was the fact that Jesus was so troubled that he kept telling his disciples to keep watch. In Matthew 26:37, the Greek words used there to detail the emotions meant that he was very sad and very disturbed. This feeling of being disturbed came to a point that this Son of God who can control the world with just a command is rather feeling insecure.
This can be observed by him commanding his disciples to keep watch when they arrived then telling them again how he felt and how they must keep better watch of the surroundings. After an hour, he returned again to the disciples and found them sleeping. He scolded them for sleeping and not keeping watch; he told them again to keep watch. After praying, he went back to the disciples for the third time and found them sleeping again which resulted in another scolding.
What Jesus was feeling is understandable because he was about to put all the sins of the world upon his shoulders. However, even though that is a topic in itself, the direction I want to go is Jesus’ reliance in prayer when he is in need.
Setting An Example For His Disciples
In that situation, Jesus and the disciples knew that what Jesus has said would happen is about to happen. However, Jesus was the only one who fully understood the events that are about to take place. The disciples only knew that Jesus was not bluffing and his death may be somewhat not as extreme as it would be.
There are two types of attitude shown in that garden. One who faithfully prays in submission to his God despite being sleepy and the other one who chooses to sleep instead of doing what is right which is to pray. These two attitudes are present in us today and they contradict each other. The question is: which one are you?
When You Are In Distress… Pray
No matter the problem that arises, Jesus is telling us through that moment in Gethsemane that we should pray. Even though that did not save him from death, it gave him the confidence to face death. We cannot change anything by praying because it is God’s work to do miracles. However, we can use this act of praying to change our attitudes and be filled with God’s perspective in this matter. This communication to our Father is a gift and we must therefore take advantage of this.