“He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood” (Luke 22:44).
Lots of people probably consider prayer to be a boring activity. They think of prayer as a religious ritual, some incantation to be chanted once a day. They remember their mother reminding them to “say their prayers” before bed. But prayer is more than simply empty words. And it’s not like casting Christians spells at God. Prayer is calling out to God with faith and then something powerful happens. Jesus taught his disciples, “Get up and pray, otherwise temptation will overpower you” (Luke 22:46).
On the night Jesus was betrayed, He had the most powerful time of prayer recorded in the Bible. In the spirit, He was preparing for the most crucial moment in all of history. His death and resurrection would pay the way for our salvation. A huge part of winning that battle was accomplished in private the night before. He was about to take upon Himself the full brunt of God’s wrath for every sin every committed and would be committed by humanity. And the huge struggle of that was decided while he was praying. The prayer burden was so difficult that He had deep agony in the spirit … so much so that he sweated profusely and his sweat may have been mixed with blood. Obviously something powerful happened that night as He prayed. He was successful in obeying God the next day because of that prayer.
If Jesus needed to pray fervently so that He would be able to accomplish God’s will, how much more so do we also need to pray to do His will. Jesus taught his disciples that unless they pray, temptation would overcome them. Unfortunately, that’s just what happened. They slept instead of praying and the next day virtually all of them failed Jesus and abandoned or denied Him. It is so easy to be overcome by temptation unless we pray. The reason that happens is because we can do nothing of real spiritual value on our own strength. It all must come from God’s strength. And that only happens through prayer.
Thank You, Lord, for reminding me of how vital it is to pray. Help me to be more diligent to pray through everything You have assigned me to do so that I may be successful and You may receive the glory.