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Summary: A call to prayer for our church that is in an interim time.

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Matthew 26:36-46

36Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” 39And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” 40Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”

"Face flushed and sandy hair askew, Roger Abramson bursts through the revolving doors into a Park Avenue office building, barks into a cell hone, extends a hand and flashes a smile to a visitor, and scans the lobby directory to locate his 9:30 appointment. His pace reflects his obsession with time. A minute spent on only one task is a minute squandered, and wasted time infuriates Abramson. He shouts at a taxi driver for taking the wrong route, slams down the receiver in disgust when a vendor puts him on hold, rips up an employee’s work because she didn’t follow his exact instructions. And to his family, fiancée, and friends, he issues a stern warning: "If you are not producing revenue, do not call me during the day." Abramson’s mantra is speed, and heaven help you if you get in his way."

That’s the first paragraph from an article in Inc Magazine (September 1, 1998 by Donna Fenn) entitled "Built for Speed." The article is about an entrepreneur who owns a furniture brokerage firm in New York, but it could have been about us.

Is your workday like that?

To Do Lists

Phone Calls

Decisions

Meetings

Conflict

Hiring/firing

Downsizing has impacted every worker today.

Incredible pressure

Deadlines

Jesus Understands

If there is a definition of stress and pressure, sweating drops of blood ought to qualify.

And if anybody knew time pressures, he did.

His minintry 3 years

Very brief time to accomplish goals

In our text he is in the most intense pressure filled time of his life

Imagine:

Out of control

Pressure mounting

Its all coming to a head

So what does Jesus do? He prays.

The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus prayed throughout his life and ministry.

We find that prayer formed a vital part of the Sermon on the Mount.

When John the Baptist was arrested and later beheaded, Jesus prayed.

He prayed on the Mount of Transfiguration.

He prayed in the Upper Room.

He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.

He even prayed from the Cross.

Prayer was the common thread that was stitched into his life from the beginning.

Well, that may be where our lives and His Life go separate paths.

When the pressure mounts for us, what do we do?

Work all the harder. When we face conflict, we work the phones. Spin the issues. Put in 16-hour workdays. Count the votes. Cover our backsides. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

But not Jesus, He prayed.

For a true understanding of prayer we need to examine the prayer of our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Let’s look at this prayer in Jesus’ time of crisis.

"My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done."

1. The prayer begins with a recognition of the Fatherhood of God.

Jesus begins this prayer the way he taught his disciples to begin the Model Prayer (We looked at last week) – "My Father." The word "Father" has many connotations for us.

Two first graders were overheard as they left Sunday School class, "Do you really believe all that stuff about the devil?" "No, I think it’s like Santa Claus. It’s really your dad."

In Matthew 6:26, Jesus talked about the Father’s care by saying, "Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"

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