Start with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)
Read Scripture: Luke 22:39-46 Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 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.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
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.”
The Mount of Olives is located east of Jerusalem. Jesus went up one of the slopes to an oil grove called Gethsemane, which means “oil press”. Jesus asked the disciples to pray that they would not fall into temptation because he knew that he would soon be leaving them. He also knew they needed extra strength to face the coming days as they would watch him die. Their strongest temptation was to think they had been deceived by Jesus.
Jesus exposed his true feelings to God. He reaffirmed his commitment to God but did speak of his dread of what was coming. He spoke of the agony of crucifixion but even worse, the total separation from God that we would need to experience in order to die for the world’s sins. Luke tells us that he sweat tears of blood which medically can happen in extreme stress. As he prayed the disciples slept. They were pretty insensitive to his mission.
Questions to ponder:
- What can we learn from Jesus’ example of dealing with difficult circumstances?
- How do you think God wants you to respond to painful and overwhelming events in your life? What role should prayer play?
- Given this passage, what is the best way for you to pray today?
End with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)