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 he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be distressed and troubled.
38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very distressed, 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; but do not do what I want, do what you want.”
40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay alert for me one hour?
41 Stay alert and pray that so you may not be tempted. The spirit indeed wants to do this, 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, may what you want be done.”
43 And again he came and found them sleeping, because 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 being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
prayer in the beautiful place
The big three (Peter, James and John) are again singled out to be with Jesus during a special event. Last time, Jesus had been transformed before him at the mountain, and these disciples saw him in his coming glory, chatting with Moses and Elijah. This time, he is in a garden called Gethsemane, getting ready for the suffering and humiliation of the cross. Last time, they lifted their eyes and saw Jesus only. This time, they close their eyes and nod off. This time, he speaks only to the Father. His suffering began there – in the beautiful place. His prayer to the Father there gave him strength for the ordeal he would face later. The disciples were not praying. They would not be prepared. Their courage would leave them, and they would leave their Savior.
Prayer can strengthen us, and get us ready for what we are to face. Neglecting time alone with the Father is unwise. We just do not know what we might be facing from day to day. That is one reason why we need to pray.
LORD, give us the wisdom to prepare for life by spending quality time with you.