“Could you not keep watch one hour?”

Scripture reading for February 27th:  Mark 14

Following the Last Supper, Jesus and the remaining eleven disciples went out to the Mount of Olives.  They went to spend the night with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.   The name of this garden indicated it was an ‘olive press’ where oil was squeezed from the olives grown there.  It would be the place where Jesus sweat great drops of blood as He wrestled with fulfilling the will of God.

Prior to coming there, Jesus had prophesied, “You will all fall away, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”  (Mark 14:27-28)  Peter had protested that he would remain faithful, no matter what the others might do.  Jesus told him plainly that he, too, would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed.

Jesus asked His disciples to sit with Him while He prayed.  He took Peter, James and John and made a special request of them.  “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” He said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”  (Mark 14:34)   Jesus prayed, “Abba, Father,” He said, “everything is possible for You.  Take this cup from Me.  Yet not what I will, but what You will.”   (Mark 14:36)   When Jesus returned to where they were, He found these close followers sleeping.  He particularly spoke to Peter, “Could you not keep watch for one hour?  Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”  (Mark 14:37-38)

Prayer is a wrestling match with our flesh.  One of our greatest needs is to watch and pray each day.  Jesus is coming again!  Depend on the Holy Spirit to help you to pray!

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