“And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and He said to His disciples. Sit ye here while I pray.” (Mark 14: 32).
As we approach Easter, the Christian celebration of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ it is fitting to observe that He spent His last two days in close communion with His disciples. The night before He was crucified Jesus took two of His disciples with Him into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Prayer is one of the great mysteries in the life of any Believer. It is our way of communicating our needs, desires, praise and offering of glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I am sure that I left some things out of that short list everyone gets to make their own list of reasons to pray.
Theologians debate the accuracy of the designation of Mathew 6:9-13 as “The Lord’s Prayer” or “The Disciples Prayer.” Personally, I think it is another one of those fruitless quasi-academic debates that have absolutely nothing to do with your praying or my prayer(s). Down through the history of organized religion humanity has struggled with understanding what, when, where, who and how we should or should not pray. The prophets and patriarchs prayed, and Jesus taught His disciples; “After this manner therefore pray ye” (verse 9). It can reasonably be observed that this simple instruction makes it official.
The example of Jesus praying in Gethsemane, John 17, helps us with several things we can know and understand about prayer; (a) Prayer was necessary even for the Son of God, (b) Prayer does not eliminate emotional struggle, and (3) Prayer can make us stronger spiritually and keep us from temptation. In each account of His prayer, Jesus says to His disciples, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). If we watch and pray, we will be strengthened against temptation.
“He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29, 31). Jesus wanted His disciples and followers to understand that as we grow in our prayer life we grow in our spiritual life. It is here in the spirit that the enemy attacks the weak through temptation—offering an opportunity to disobey the word and will of God. Prayer makes us aware of the will of God by keeping Him continually before us as we make our way along our Christian journey.
“I will give myself unto prayer” (Psalm 109:4). Whether you spend your prayer time praying the Disciples’ Prayer or the Lord’s Prayer we cannot be in a religious hurry when it comes to our devotion to prayer time. Ask yourself, how much time do I spend in prayer daily? Can I count it easily in minutes? Have you ever known a truly devoted saint who did not spend much of their time in prayer for a variety of reasons? “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6-7). Prayer time is “me time” with the Master will you spend as much as possible in His presence?
We can agree that prayer, disciples or the Lord’s, is a foundation element in the principles of Christian beliefs and life. No one has ever experienced significant growth in holiness without spending time communing with God the Father. The more often you engage in prayer the more you grow, the Son of God did it and so must you and I. “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24). Pray for your family, friends, neighbors and the conditions of humanity, God is waiting and He is listening.
Offer this closing prayer to the Lord: “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26). As you continue your time with the Lord, offer to Him this praise: “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all” (1 Chronicles 29:11). I thank God for blessing you to be a blessing to someone else in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- My own Garden of Gethsemane! (areleasedheart1.wordpress.com)
- The Hope of Gethsemane (of Lent, Mortality, & Ashes) (paulburkhart.wordpress.com)