Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Prayer in the Garden

He got up from prayer, went back to the disciples and found them asleep, drugged by grief. He said, "What business do you have sleeping? Get up. Pray so you won't give in to temptation." Luke 22:45-46 (The Message)

Taking several of the disciples with him, Jesus had gone to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He did this on occasion, but this time was different. He knew his time had come and he needed to pray to his Father for strength.

He had warned his disciples once already that they should stay alert. But instead of being there for the Master, they fell asleep. This is where, in the book of Matthew, we hear the famous line “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

As much as I hate to admit it, this is probably the incident where I am most like the disciples. Ask my husband, ask some of my co-workers. I can lay awake in bed half the night, but put me somewhere quiet for five minutes in the middle of the day and I am asleep. I have turned nap-taking into a fine art. But sometimes, even for me, taking a nap is just not appropriate.

Lord, give me the strength to stay alert, to not give into temptation as I go through the many trials of daily life. Nothing I encounter today, or any day, will be like what you encountered on the cross for me. And when you return to this earth, may you not catch me napping.

(From now until Easter, my Sunday blog will be taken from the book of Luke, looking at the last days to the last hours of Jesus’ life on this Earth. I pray that I can share something meaningful with you. Today's picture is of the rose garden at the Green Lake Conference Center, where I attended the writer's conference which inspired me to start a Sunday devotional blog.)

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