Praying in Preparation
“that you may not enter into temptation” (v40)
- Jesus knew what the disciples would face.
- Jesus knew that what it was to be tempted (Hebrews 4:15).
- Jesus was tempted in every respect.
- Jesus was tempted to a greater degree than anyone else has ever been tempted.
- We must pray before we face trials and temptations.
- Jesus had taught them to do this earlier (Matthew 6:13).
- Praying before temptation is directly connected to avoiding evil.
- Temptation and sin follow a pattern (James 1:14-15).
- You can pray (confess) at any point along this pattern:
- Desire — the sin that remains in you.
- Temptation — being lured and enticed.
- Sin — you yield to the temptation.
- It is better to deal with the desire (what remains sinful in us) before temptation and sin sets in.
- One of the main ways to do that is by praying.
Praying in Affliction
“he withdrew from them . . . and knelt down” (v41, also see Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:33, Hebrews 5:7)
- The normal posture in praying was standing.
- Jesus had much to be distressed about:
- He had been rejected by Israel.
- He had been betrayed by Judas.
- He was to be denied by Peter.
- His disciples would be scattered.
- He was facing a cruel and humiliating death.
- Worst of all he would experience the wrath of his Father.
- God ultimately worked good through all of these things, and Jesus knew he would.
- But that did not change the struggle Jesus went through in the garden.
Praying in Submission
“not my will, but yours, be done” (v42)
- One goal in all praying is to acknowledge submission to and dependence on God.
- True worship includes submission.
- Thanksgiving acknowledges dependence.
- Confession is an act of submission.
- Supplication acknowledges dependence.
- Jesus acknowledges that he is distressed about what will happen (“if you are willing, remove this cup from me”).
- When you pray, don’t just tell God what you think he wants to hear.
- Tell him the truth about how you feel.
- But in the next breath, commit to submission.
Strengthening through Prayer
“there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him” (v43)
- This is one of only two recorded time an angel appeared to Jesus.
- After his temptation in the wilderness, angels ministered to him as well (Matthew 4:11).
- God’s grace is sufficient in any circumstances (weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10).