40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” Matthew 26:40-46
Who among us hasn’t felt weary and tired when kneeling to pray?
The question I’ve not heard anyone ask is, if the Son of God is praying, why was it necessary for His disciples to pray?
I’ve often wondered about incidents where preachers or politicians ask you to pray. Does one person effect change from God? Do a million? What’s the number? Or is it different for everyone?
The President of the United States – no matter who is in office – is under tremendous pressure 24/7. The decisions he has to make would stagger most “normal” humans.
However, when you know that you have one or two million people praying for your strength and wisdom, you have to know that it makes a difference. It’s not that all the decisions he makes will be godly or spot on, but knowing that people are taking the time helps.
That’s true of your pastor, missionaries, or orphanage workers. And sometimes the Spirit will wake you to pray for something overseas and you have no idea why until months or years later. This “principle” also holds true for people in your small group.
But in this instance, Jesus want His friends to “have His back,” as it were. He wanted desperately to know that in the midst of the Son of God’s greatest struggle, that those closest to Him would be going to the Father on His behalf.
But they slept.
You will probably have opportunities this week to have someone’s back in prayer. Take it seriously because their struggle is real to them – even if it doesn’t feel real to you.