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Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:36-46
Gethsemane: Prayer During Trials
1. How do you react when faced with a trial/difficult/sorrow life: Anxiety...Ignore it...Plan for it? But do you pray to God about it?
2. Matt. 26:36-46 – At Gethsemane we are given a glimpse into the heart of Christ. There we see His dependency upon His God, His faith, His sacrifice, submission & steadfastness.
3. There we learn to “follow his steps” (1 Pet. 2:21) in prayer during life’s trials & sorrows – Phil. 4:6-7.
I. THE WATCHFULNESS OF PRAYER – Matt. 26:38-39, 40-41.
A. A Moment of Separation: Time Alone with God – 26:36.
1. Trials can overwhelm us unless we remember to make time for God (to be with God in prayer).
2. 26:30, 36, 37 – Jesus made a deliberate walk of about a mile to be alone with God in prayer during His sorrow.
3. We must make an effort to spend time with God!
B. Prayer helps us Remain Spiritually Alert during Trials – 26:38-41.
1. Watch – Diligence, alertness.
2. 26:39 – Jesus’ faith & focus: God’s will be done.
3. 26:40-41 – Prayer helps us be strengthened in spirit & body to do the will of God in the face of trials.
LESSON: In prayer we trust in the presence, power & faithfulness of God to hear & act according to His will. cf. Mk. 14:36 (all things possible) (Lk. 22:43); Heb. 5:7 (heard…able to save); Psa. 61:1-2; 62:5-8; Col. 4:2
II. THE OBEDIENCE OF PRAYER – Matt. 26:39, 42, 44 (Heb. 5:8).
-(Cup: “metaph. one’s lot or experience, whether joyous or adverse, divine appointments, whether favourable or unfavourable”, OLB Greek Lexicon)
A. The Obedient Christian Prays in Faith (not Doubt) – Jas. 1:5-8; 1 Jno. 5:14-15.
1. Be committed to knowing that obeying God is always right & by God will accomplish His will in our lives – Phil. 2:12-13.
2. Pray in faith (trust & dependency) – God answers!
a. Don’t doubt the will of God.
b. Don’t doubt that God will answer your prayer.
B. Jesus’ Obedience Encourages & Motivates Us to Obey:
1. His readiness to sacrifice – 26:39.
2. His readiness to serve – 26:42.
3. His readiness to endure – 26:44.
4. Each of these can & should be a part of our prayers during trials – And our lives after we pray! (Rom. 12:1-2, 11, 20-21)
LESSON: When prayer is joined with obedience it helps us accept our “cup” (lot or experience) & endure it in faith – 1 Jno. 3:22 (Phil. 4:13)
III. THE FERVENCY OF PRAYER – Matt. 26:44; Lk. 22:44.
A. Jesus’ Agony did not keep Him from Praying – It Increased its Urgency.
1. Steadfastness & earnestness – At the moment when things look their darkest, prayer is a solace of the soul – cf. Lk. 22:43; Phil. 4:7.
2. In times of crisis or trial, if we are not familiar with prayer it may well be something we desire, but feel inept at actually doing! (1 Ths. 5:17; Eph. 6:18) – cf. Matt. 26:38, 40, 43, 45
3. Heb. 12:1-3 – Consider Jesus’ endurance in the face of sorrow & suffering – Don’t grow weary (Gal. 6:7).
LESSON: We must not grow tired of praying! Lk. 22:46; 18:1-7; 1 Ths. 5:17; Eph. 6:18
1. Psalm 4 – Prayer of confidence in God & the peace & safety He gives the faithful, even in the face of enemies who would harm us & speak lies of us.
2. Each one of us will face trials in this life. How we choose to face them is a commentary on our faith & trust in God.
3. Prayer is at our disposal to help us watch against temptation, to help us obey God in faith, & to be steadfast servants of God.