WATCH AND PRAY


And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I pray.’ And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.’ And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible to you; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what you will.’ And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words.” (Mk 14: 32-39)

The God Man does two things, when His soul is “very sorrowful, even unto death”: 1. He shares this with His closest friends, and 2. He prays, physically falling on the ground, and surrendering the anguish over His “cup” to the will of the Father.

Emotional anguish, like great sorrow and fear, also affect “the flesh,” making heavy or bogging down the body into inactivity, which easily leads to more insecurity and fear. However, while “the flesh is weak,” as the Lord notes here, “the spirit indeed is willing.” And in us and with us, indeed, the Holy Spirit is “willing” to continue on the cross-carrying, life-affirming journey, even when it gets to be too much for “the flesh.” So let me remember Him, the Giver of Life, when my soul is “very sorrowful, even unto death.” Let me reach out, as best I can, to Another and also others around me, in humble honesty, surrendering my weakness to God’s life-creating will. Let me “fall down” before Him, rather than “fall down” into inactivity, when I am weak. Lord, let me “watch” or remain “awake” and open to Your Spirit today, because He can and does lift me up when I am down.

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