“He went out and made His way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed Him. When He reached the place, He told them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Then He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me—nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. Being in anguish, He prayed more fervently, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. When He got up from prayer and came to the disciples, He found them sleeping, exhausted from their grief. “Why are you sleeping?” He asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation.” (Luke 22:39-46)
At this point, Jesus and His disciples had just finished eating the Passover meal and they left the upper room. Jesus then went over to the Mount of Olives to spend some time in prayer. While Jesus was praying, several of His closest disciples (Peter, James & John) were to keep watch. However, they were tired and kept falling asleep. Jesus kept waking them up and encouraging them to pray as well.
As I was recently reading over these verses again, I was struck by a phrase that I hadn’t noticed before. It said that when Jesus checked on the disciples he found they were sleeping “exhausted from their grief.” Other translations say they were “sleeping from sorrow.” The disciples knew something was the matter even though they didn’t know what would take place in mere hours. But they were distraught. And so they wanted to just sleep.
I know there have been times in my life where I was exhausted from my grief and and wanted to sleep from sorrow. When times were hard and I was struggling and just wanted to turn my mind off and sleep. But like the disciples, in those times we need to pray. We need to pray for the situations that we’re struggling with at the moment. We need to pray for those around us and the problems they are facing. We need to pray and praise God for listening to us. But no matter what we need to pray.
This week, whether we are exhausted from grief or things are going well, let us pray. Let us be about prayer. And if it something we’re struggling with, let God know. It is a joy and privilege that we have to be able to talk to God. Let us take advantage of that.