Matthew 26:36–46 (ESV)
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two
sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little
farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And
he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again,
for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So,
leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son
of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
When I read today’s reading, I am transported back in time to 2002, when my family was camping in Ontario, Canada, near the Niagra Falls. I was exhausted and couldn’t wait to go to sleep. Somewhere
between 10pm -12pm, my wife lost her diamond cross necklace. It was a gift that I gave her and she is a very sentimental person. I remember her trying to wake me up to help her look for it, but I was worthless! I was so exhausted that I could
not wake up to help her. She could have told me she lost a million dollars and I was still out cold. My eyes were heavy and I could not keep them open. I understand how tired Peter, James and John were when Jesus was asking them to keep watch.
My wife did in fact find her necklace in the dirt on the path from the restrooms. But… no help from me.
The Lutheran Study Bible states: Jesus prays three times in Gethsemane, while His disciples
give themselves over to sleep rather than to prayer. How often we get ourselves into trouble because we do not bother to pray! Pour out your heart to the Lord in sincere prayer again and again. Christ’s prayer and obedience to the Father open the portals
of heaven to your prayers.”
I pray: Let us hasten to bring our petitions before God’s throne of grace! Amen.