‘Why are you sleeping?’ he asked them. ‘Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.’ – Luke 22:46
The Pesach meal was over. The apostles and Jesus headed out to Mount Olivet. Once they’d arrived, Jesus told them to go and pray to avoid falling into temptation. He went a bit further away and prayed to the point of exhaustion. When he finished, he returned to the apostles and found them asleep. He aroused them and told them again to pray so as not to fall into temptation. It wasn’t long after that that he was betrayed by Judas and arrested by the mob and taken before the Sanhedrin for questioning.
Prayer is our direct connection to the Father, Son, and Spirit. I’ve often heard it said that without prayer, it’s impossible to get to know G-d and become intimate with him. There’s a lot of truth in that statement. How can you truly get to know someone without spending time with that person? We do that in our faith through prayer in the hidden place alone with G-d. It’s in these times of seclusion and intimacy that the Spirit will reveal the will of G-d to us and show us things the Father wants us to do. Can a spouse ever really know the other without spending time together? No! Then how can we expect to know G-d without spending quality time with him? It’s impossible!
It is in prayer that the Spirit speaks to us and tells us how to avoid bad situations and how to excel in the good ones. It is in prayer where we hear the voice of G-d tells us what he expects of us. It is in prayer that we hear the love of the Father expressed to us. It is in prayer that we can tell the Father how much we love, adore, and praise him. It is in prayer that we can tell Him what we need. It is in prayer that we learn to be still and hear the voice of G-d. Would it be possible then to avoid temptation without hearing G-d tell us how to avoid it?
Prayer changes things. It grabs the ear and attention of the Father when his children begin to speak to him. He is able to do well above whatever we can think or imagine and already knows what we need and want long before we speak to him. Why bother praying then? The Father enjoys communing and communicating with us! He wants us to acknowledge our reliance upon him and to praise him and to thank him. Is he egocentric? Heaven forbid! He just wants us to realize that without him we can do nothing. It’s like Jesus said to the apostles that he is the vine while we are the branches. Without the vine, the branches can do nothing. How does the branch produce fruit? By being connected to the vine. How do we connect with Jesus? By prayer. Prayer is talking to G-d like you talk to others, although there is a great element of respect and reverence toward his Majesty!
Trust in the L-rd and learn to speak to G-d through prayer. You’ll be surprised at how your life changes.
Father, thank you for loving me first and foremost! I sound like a parrot many times in echoing my love and gratitude toward you for what you do, have done, and will do in my life. I’m awed every day that I stop and think about how much you love us, enough to give yourself for us! There aren’t words enough or eloquent to express that kind of love! It takes action. I admit to you that prayer was not always a strong suit of mine and was often neglected. The reason being that I thought I didn’t need to pray because I was good to go. How wrong was I! If I had learned long ago to heed your warning of praying to avoid temptation, there would have been a different path that I’d taken in life and could have avoided many heartaches and failures along the way. Now that I know the truth and have experienced the spectacular results of prayer, I do my best to make it a critical part of my day. What joy it is to spend time with you. You knew before I was ever created in the womb, so I want to spend this life getting to know you as much as possible. Then eternity! I love you, Dad! May your will be done, not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.