Summary: Prayer keeps us focused on our Calling Prayer can be painful Prayer delivers us from temptation Prayer enables us to face our lives with courage Prayer opens our eyes to spiritual realities
Luke 22:39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
1. Communion with God keeps our minds and hearts focused on the Calling He has placed on our lives. –mission drift/vision drift
a. For the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame
b. John tells us that when they passed over to the Garden, they crossed the Kidron Valley-the valley of Shadow. Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil for Thou art with me, Thy rod & Thy staff comfort me.
2. Communion with God insures we stay awake when it is time to be awake and sleep when it is time to sleep-it can be painful and uncomfortable.
a. Jesus didn’t sleep that night, He sweat blood-He understood the nature of His work.
b. Through our sorrow, our pain, we become insensitive to spiritual realities. We close our hearts to the Truth of God’s calling on our lives
3. Communion with God delivers us from temptation-it requires consistency to victory.
a. Like Joseph, & Daniel, Jesus did not give in to the temptation to forsake the calling God had placed on His life.
b. You have not yet resisted to the shedding of blood (Hebrews 12:4)
4. Communion with God enables us to face our lives with courage
a. the disciples fled-while Jesus embraced His destiny with quiet resignation
b. Jesus had already overcome his fear and apprehensions in prayer before He had to face them in life. The best cure and prevention for fear & anxiety attacks is daily, consistent, alone time with God, just waiting on Him (there are other strategies, but this has to be a part of a good strategy that does not involve altering your brain chemistry with drugs. Instead it alters your brain chemistry with behavior).
5. Communion with God opens our eyes to the spiritual realities around us-l
a. Jesus received the blessing and comfort of an angel. like Elijah and his servant, like Jesus and His disciples, there are those who stay in close communication with God who simply see the world from a different perspective-one which is determined by spiritual realities beyond the physical.
14 [the king of Aram] sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. 15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. 16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. II Kings 6
Sometimes communication breaks down, to tragic end. In 1992, a woman in Lexington, Massachusetts, named Kathleen Dempsey gave a dispatcher her address before pleading, “Help me. I’ve been stabbed.” For five hours, nobody responded to her emergency; she died. Why the neglect? It’s impossible to say for certain, but some have suggested that Dempsey’s dire condition, which left her unable to engage in the usual back-and-forth, had led the dispatcher to assume the call was a hoax. http://theamericanscholar.org/emergencies-in-spanish/#.UzJS29wxFFI
How many of us have allowed the cares of this world, the busyness of life to cut us off from the communion, the communication with God which brings us life and focus and peace?
God calls us aside, to stay awake, and pray that we enter not into temptation.