It was night when Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. The disciples fell asleep. Jesus asked them, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray (Matthew 36:40).”
It was a bright sunny day when we visited the Garden of Gethsemane. I imagined Jesus asking me, “Could you watch with me one hour? Keep watch and pray.” “Watch and pray . . . the spirit is willing, but the body is weak (Matthew 26:41).”
Before his arrest, Jesus went to Gethsemane, and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will but as you will (Matthew 26:39).”
We know how God answered that prayer: “It was the will of the Lord to crush him . . . He bore the sin of many (Isaiah 53:10-12).”
Those who pray “Your will be done” often find the path to joy is through pain.
He stood on Mount Arbel, overlooking Galilee, remembering that Jesus, when he lived here, “went up on the mountain by himself to pray (Matthew 14:23).”
And standing there, he prayed, because Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full (John 16:24).”
Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birth. For to you is born this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (from Luke 2:11).
Christmas is also a reminder that Jesus will be back. The Lord himself will descend from heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Waiting, we pray, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
Job felt his need for someone to mediate between him and God, as a person mediates between friends (from Job 16:20-21).
Jesus came and met that need for us. There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).
Our first grandson* (I love him so!) was born a preemie. At first, we could not hold him. “Being held is stressful,” the nurses said.
So we watched him and we prayed, continually asking the Lord to hold him.
The next morning I noticed a book in a restroom. I picked it up and it fell open to this: “People were bringing little children to Jesus . . . and he took them in his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them” (from Mark 10:13-16).
It seemed to me the Lord was saying, “You don’t have to keep asking. I heard you the first time. Holding too-small babies is what I do. It’s who I am.”
My tear-filled pleas became prayers of thanksgiving: “Thank you, Lord, for holding baby boy!”
*Baby boy, born to our middle daughter, is now 6+ weeks old. He’s home and doing well.
Jesus, our high priest, is holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. . . . made perfect forever (Hebrews 7:26).
One day we will see this Jesus face to face.
Until then we can pray.