Watch and Pray

32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”
35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.
41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Mark 14:32-42 NIV

It’s the time of year when we usually plan Easter dinner with the whole family and many people who do not usually go to church, show up. And everyone expects to hear the resurrection message – the gospel of Christ. But this year will be different with all thos social distancing. Eventhough, I am reading the passages.  Just one chapter before this in the book of Mark, Jesus is speaking of knowing the signs of the end times. 

With this world wide pandemic and Easter coming quickly, I can’t help but look at the juxtaposition of these two chapters and ponder it all in my head.  Sunday a friend asked me if I thought it was really the end of the world: with confidence, yes. 
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” Mark 13:32-33 NIV
But yes, the signs increase daily, yes it will be soon.

Mark chapter 13 concludes with verses 36 & 37: “If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
And the next day in the Garden he says to Peter, James and John: “Watch and pray”.

You see that juxtaposition? Quite interesting when in one he speaks of the rapture and the other he is preparing for his death and resurrection.  It’s interesting that here we are in the end times with preachers preaching the second coming and we are preparing to celebrate the work he did through his death and resurrection.

Jesus took his strongest disciples with him deeper into the garden to be his prayer warriors and watchers. And even though those were his best men, they were weak and fell asleep. And back a chapter he said “Do not let him find you sleeping”.

Peter, James and John probably would not have slept a wink had they known that Judas betrayed Jesus or that Jesus was about to be crucified and rise from the dead. I always wanted to know why the eyes of their understanding were not opened.

Have you ever fallen asleep praying, at an important moment or for an important thing?  Yea, um, not good. I know I have and it’s not such a good thing.

But they did stay awake long enough to catch one sentence of Jesus’s hour long prayer:
“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

I know many people have analyzed it for structure on how to pray, for content on what to pray, etc.  I really want to know the rest.  It is so tender that Jesus calls our Father Abba and I am permitted to as well. I believe everything is possible to Him and worship Him with songs and praises reminding Him of just that. I pray my little prayer and say, yet not my will, but your will be done. 
Without even reading this recently – these are my constant prayers, so maybe Jesus did pray it for the entire hour and then again for the second hour. Oh Lord, everything is possible, please make it rain (reference to yesterday’s post), yet not my will, but your will.

Ironically I am tired tonight. I feel a bit like Peter, James and John. Struggling to keep my eyes open to read, and type out my bible study here.  Ironic as I know the time, the days are evil – and today is the day of salvation!  It is time to watch and pray. 

I pray for my unsaved loved ones, the backslidden, and those who are confused. I pray for the souls that need forgiveness and grace and mercy and love – that was extended to me – that they might obtain everlasting life.  And as my eyes grow impossible to keep open and my head nods…  It is only by grace that I can watch and pray! Only by grace.

Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91