“Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Jesus’ disciples were not spiritually mature. They did not have much spiritual insight or wisdom. Because they didn’t understand the lessons Jesus taught them, he often had to repeat those lessons.
They were also lacking in compassion for the concerns of children. When children crowded forward, they were told to stay away (Luke 18:15).
The disciples also were not always humble (Luke 9:46). And sometimes they lacked courage, as when Jesus was arrested.
Perhaps more than anything, the disciples were lacking in prayer. They often were not able to act wisely when there was a crisis. When Jesus needed them to keep watch and pray while he searched out the Father’s will that night on the Mount of Olives, he found them asleep. How frustrating this must have been for Jesus when he was in anguish!
Jesus has shown us how important a life of prayer is. In prayer he connected with his Father in heaven, finding renewed energy and courage to keep on with his mission. And on this night, as Jesus prayed before his arrest and crucifixion, he needed the Father’s assurance that his death on the cross was the only way to save us from our sins. We needed Jesus to do this for us, and he found the strength and the will to do it by connecting with God through prayer.
Shall we follow Jesus’ example?
Father, we know that now is the time for us to pay attention and stay awake. Help us so that we can be in tune with you always, like Jesus. In his name, Amen.
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