April 1, 2010

Watch and Pray

Our Church family is reading through the book of Mark in preparation for Easter. As I read Mark chapter 14 this morning I was reminded of a plaque that hangs in my bedroom. It reads, “Every life needs it’s own quiet place.” As I read about Jesus and His time in the garden praying right before His arrest, I was reminded of how prayer is definitely good stewardship for the soul. I think one reason Jesus asked Peter, James, and John to watch and pray with Him was because He knew what was about to happen and wanted them to be prepared. Is this a lesson to us as to how important prayer is in keeping us from entering into temptation? I wonder if these disciples may have responded to the difficulty they were about to encounter differently had they spent the time with Jesus in the garden praying rather than sleeping. Read this segment of scripture with me.
Mark 14:33-46
And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch." He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will." Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. Then He came the third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. "Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand."
And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely." As soon as He had come, immediately he went up to Him and said to Him, "Rabbi, Rabbi!" and kissed Him. Then they laid their hands on Him and took Him.(NKJV)

The Garden of Gethsemane

If you continue reading you will see how the disciples responded to this turn of events.
How might our lives be different if we watched and prayed instead of slept?
As I prepare my heart to celebrate this Easter season, I am reminded of the importance of a daily, moment by moment relationship with Jesus through prayer! Do you have your own quiet place and when was the last time you spent time there? Grace-Works!