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Monday, April 4, 2016

Pray to God with Me, and Pray

"Stay here," Jesus said, "and watch with Me."

I came to Him this morning and we wrote six pages in my journal with Rejoice & Be Glad scripted in fancy gold lettering on the cover. He brought me back to the Garden of Gethsemane verses in Matthew and Mark, and ministered to me. Now, I desire to invite, "Come with me! Let's go back to Gethsemane together and see His grace!"

He quietly pointed out His word to me, and I quietly wrote out my response to Him.

"I'm grateful for Your grace, Lord Jesus;" I began. "I'm grateful that You're not an enforcer of the law, but a fulfiller of the law-because You are grace-filled.

"You came from Your heavenly country where moths, rust, thieves, sickness, filth, sorrow, pain, tears are not. You came from that country to this land called Earth.

"You are King of grace, humble and not haughty.

"You came to give of Yourself, not to demand from us.

"You came to this land, lawless despite powerful law-enforcers, where grace is needed, but suspected.

"You came from Your country where peace reigns in victory, to this war-torn earth.

"You came with a message of peace, and with grace to demonstrate peace so that we would know what what it looks like.

"You came not to enforce peace, but to give peace; to give Your greeting, saying, 'Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.'"

"You came to do in us what You asked of us-Your will. You ask us to do Your will, and as You are yet asking, You are working in us to will and to do it.

"You came with grace, by grace, for the sake of grace."

Praise Jesus with me!

"You served by Your grace, and You were served by the same grace, coming from Your Father, ministered by the Spirit and the heavenly hosts."

We may enter the wilderness with Him, where He was tempted for forty days and forty nights.

We may enter the Garden of Gethsemane with Him.

We may take up our cross with Him.

We may be resurrected with Him.

And we may participate in His grace.

"In Your most agonizing time, agony unto death, You gave grace. Your mission and the focus of Your heart did not change when You fought, with sweat which fell as great drops of blood, to stay true as the cup was presented. And You won."

He silently leads me through the passages and I silently meditate on His word, then press my pen to the pink and white pages of my journal.

"You described Your agony to Your three closest friends and disciples. Then You told them, 'Stay here, and watch with Me'" (Matthew 26:38).

In response to my post, Invited To Enter His Passion, a sister-in-Christ reminded me that the word "watch" was widely known in Bible days to mean, "pray to God." I'm not a fast thinker, so it's taken me nearly a week to articulate what I may not have been yet able to write with clarity when I wrote Invited To Enter His Passion. 

I read now what Jesus told His disciples, "Stay here, and pray to God with Me." 

Had they prayed with Him, as He prayed in Matthew 26:39, they would have prayed, "O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Him; nevertheless, not as we will, but as You will." But they couldn't stay awake.

Their eyes were heavy, and I can't help wonder if they were attacked by Satan, who would have been pleased to knock them unconscious so that they could not do as Jesus asked.

He woke them and repeated, "Watch with Me, and pray."

I read this as, "Pray to God with Me, and pray." 

Then He told them who they should pray for, and it wasn't for Him. "Pray to God with Me, 'O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done;' and pray, lest you enter into temptation" (Matthew 26:41-42).

There's grace to pray like this, for ourselves, when Jesus tells us to.

I read through this Matthew 26 passage, again, and continue in my journal.

Sit and Watch
"Lord, You must have told the disciples of Your agony, and asked them to sit and pray with You not because Your circumstances altered Your mission, but because You wanted them to agree with You in prayer, and because they needed to enter into Your passion by joining Your prayer, lest they enter into temptation.

"You must have known that, if You asked them to pray for You, they would have prayed that You be delivered from Your agony, and that the cup would pass from You. How could they, Your closest friends, watching You suffer, not pray so?

"You must have known that they would have prayed that they themselves be spared the pain of losing You.

"You must have known these things, as they had already spoken them."

I turn to Mark 8:29-35 where that conversation is recorded. He asked His disciples, "But who do you say that I am?"

Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ;" and then he rebuked Jesus when He began to teach them that He "must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again."

When Peter rebuked Jesus, Jesus rebuked Peter, saying, "Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."

"You must have known that, if You had asked the disciples to pray for You, directly, they would have, with good yet deceived intentions, appealed to Satan; for they would have prayed that You be delivered from what You came to do-deliver them, and not only them, but the world."
I continue piecing together what I'm reading in the Scriptures. "Instead, You told them to pray, indirectly, for the fulfillment of Your mission as they prayed with You against the temptation of Your flesh, and as they prayed they would not enter into temptation."

What temptation? Maybe the temptation they were most susceptible to at that time; the temptation to close their eyes and sleep when Jesus asked them to sit and watch with Him.

Never mind that they fell asleep. Jesus still fought to establish His grace.

There's grace when we enter into temptation. 

Jesus spoke it, "The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41). Perhaps when He spoke these words of grace, He meant it for Himself, as His own flesh was weak though His Spirit was strong, and for His disciples.

Strong to Save

After Jesus rebuked His disciples, He began to talk about the cross.

Talk about grace! Yes! Let's talk about His grace!

There's grace to sit and watch with Jesus.

There's grace to pray, lest we enter into temptation.

There's grace which keeps us from entering into temptation.

And there's the grace He established, fought for and flat out, hands down won, for our redemption and resurrection.

Join Him in His prayers to the Father, and pray in the power of His grace.


written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig 

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