ANOTHER LORD’S PRAYER
36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open.
44 So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”
In Luke’s account of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, he boils down the three times of prayer into one, and he adds an important detail.
42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. 44 He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
Part of God’s answer to the Son’s prayer was sending Him an angel to strengthen him. What did the angel say or do to “strengthen” Jesus? We don’t know. What we do know is that after the visit of the angel, “he prayed more fervently.”
How important is prayer? If we ponder this prayer long enough, it seems that Jesus’ prayer is what enabled Him to submit himself to the betrayer that arrives and the suffering that ensues.
James Montgomery’s hymn, “Go to Dark Gethsemane”, written in 1825, is a rich reminder and exhortation to pray as Jesus prayed. After reading it, spend a few moments thanking Jesus for His prayer and His obedience.
Go to dark Gethsemane,
You who feel the tempter’s power;
Your Redeemer’s conflict see;
Watch with Him one bitter hour;
Turn not from His griefs away;
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.
If you are able, find a quiet place outdoors, preferably where you can be alone for a few moments. Sit quietly and simply listen. Listen to Creation. Look about you at the handiwork of God. Breathe in deeply. There is something about a “Garden.” The Bible tells us we were made for life in a garden, we lost that life in a garden, and today the Son of God is experiencing a troubled, sorrowful heart in a garden—such that His sweat is like drops of blood. And He does so in order that we might enter the “garden of life” once again.
The material in this guide has been adapted from Fellowship Bible Church’s Holy Week 2020 resource: Following Jesus Through Holy Week.
All scripture quotes are from the New Living Translation.