39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” (Luke 22:39 – 46)
Theme: The Local Church
Thanks again for your impactful comments yesterday!
So far, we have considered lessons the local church can learn from Jesus’ passion for people, God’s mission, and servant leadership. Today we will consider Jesus’ passion for prayer.
Prayer was a vital part of Jesus’ life and it is clear that he wanted his disciples to emulate this practice. In his early interactions with the disciples, they learned that he would steal away early in the morning to pray (Mark 1). As he approached the end of his earthly mission, he passionately pleads with the disciples to pray.
Our passage today is from Luke 22:39 – 46 (presented above). Jesus knew that he would die soon and that he wouldn’t have many more occasions to interact with his disciples before his death. As we discussed earlier in this 40-days journey, prayer is of vital importance to the local church. The interactions between Jesus and his disciples as his death approached really adds emphasis to this point.
Consider the following. There would have been no better person to pray for the disciples than Jesus, and we know that he did (see John 17). Further we know from Luke 22:32 that Jesus had already told Peter that he (Jesus) had prayed for him. You might think with the assurance that Jesus was praying for them the disciples could focus on other things. No, not in Jesus’ view. He implored his disciples to pray and specifically to pray that they would not fall into temptation.
The implication for the local church is clear – pray, pray, and then pray some more!
Please prayerfully read the passage above and answer the question below.
Recognizing the passion Jesus had for prayer, what can you do to amplify the importance of prayer in your local church?