Keeping watch

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane), oil painting by Heinrich Ferdinand Hofmann (Heinrich Hofmann). The original is at the Riverside Church (Riverside Church, New York City). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” – Matthew 26:36-38

On my online calendar, I have a spot to list people I want to keep in prayer. They know I pray for them daily. I remember the peace I was given when people were praying for me as I went through my cancer journey. As I pray for others, I humanly ask for their healing, for restoration, for whatever will make their life “normal” again.

When Jesus was asking the men to keep watch with him, was he asking for a change in the circumstances? His heart was set on doing the will of the Father. It was hard for he knew what was coming. I wonder what the disciples prayed before they fell asleep for they didn’t fully understand what was happening.

Could it be that Jesus was asking them just for their support in this difficult time? He wanted them to join him in talking with God and become strong from the events that would occur. He didn’t want them to be lazy in prayer, but to pray for strength to persevere. The death Jesus was facing was terrifying. The disciples needed to be connected with God so they would be able to stand strong with God’s message and not flee. Is that why we pray?

Prayer: Jesus, your journey to the cross was overwhelmingly scary. Only through the grip of grace can I stand strong in your message. I pray that today my connection with you makes a difference in my life and others. Amen

Faith Tip: Take some time to keep watch today.