Get up and pray!
Scripture reading for April 2nd: Luke 22
The first followers of Jesus as His disciples were called by their master to watch and pray during an all-night prayer vigil following the last Passover meal. They had come to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. “On reaching the place, He said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:40-42)
Jesus knew that the temptation to run and deny Him would attack His followers. He knew that they needed the Father’s help, as He did, to stand against the temptation. He simply called them to watch and pray. He went further by Himself and prayed earnestly. The Scripture says that His sweat became like “drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44) He desired to be released from the cup of suffering that had been given to Him, mirrored by the cup He had given His disciples a few hours earlier. It was a cup representing His blood, shed for the forgiveness of sins. Angels came and strengthened Jesus as He prayed!
“When He rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, He found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” He asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” (Luke 22:45-46) Jesus, Himself, had pressed through in prayer, but the disciples had fallen asleep. We are really helpless to save ourselves by our own efforts. Jesus’ prayed for them that their faith would not fail as He now intercedes for us. We also must watch and pray as He taught us: “Lead us not into temptation, ” (Luke 11:4)