“Jesus came out and went, as was His custom, to the Mount of Olives; and His disciples followed Him. When Jesus reached the place, He said to them, ‘Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.’ Then He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed.” Luke 23:39-41
Jesus prayed in the garden. It was His “custom” to pray in a quiet place. It was His connection to the Father to pray. It was His practice in times of wrestling to pray. Jesus prayed.
The disciples followed Jesus out from the table of the Last Supper, through the streets, out the gate of the city, down the hill, across the valley, up to the Mount of Olives and into the Garden of Gethsemane. When Jesus prayed, He asked them to pray as well. He encouraged them to pray “that you may not come into the time of trial.” Isn’t there a petition in the prayer He taught that covers this possibility?
+ God does not “lead us into temptation” (the time of trial). But life gets us there.
+ God does not put tantalizing things in front of us to lead us astray and get us off the path of following Jesus faithfully. But life gets us there. There are even times we go looking for such things.
+ God does not show us the side streets and dead end cul de sacs that will cause us to get lost on the way. But we find them.
++ Jesus prayed for us. Jesus leads us to the quiet times and into sanctuary moments. Then Jesus invites us to connect with God in prayer, wrestle with the temptations around us, and find our way in spite of the side streets, dead ends and cul-de-sacs which are always present along the way.
++ Jesus introduces us to a “heavenly Father” Who hears our prayers. Jesus promises the Holy Spirit Who inspires and interprets our prayers.
Let’s kneel down and pray.