During the Lenten season, staff and church leaders will share a daily devotional. Please join us on the journey.

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. He said to the disciples, ‘Stay here while I go and pray over there.’ When he took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, he began to feel sad and anxious. Then he said to them, ‘I very sad. It’s as if I’m dying. Stay here and keep alert with me.’ Then he went a short distance farther and fell on his face and prayed, ‘My Father, if it’s possible, take this cup of suffering away from me. However – not what I want but what you want.’” Matthew 26: 36-46

Is & Always

Bryan Coats – Director of Children’s Ministries

One of my favorite passages in the Bible comes from the Book of Matthew. In Matthew 26: 36-46, it says “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. He said to the disciples, ‘Stay here while I go and pray over there.’ When he took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, he began to feel sad and anxious. Then he said to them, ‘I very sad. It’s as if I’m dying. Stay here and keep alert with me.’ Then he went a short distance farther and fell on his face and prayed, ‘My Father, if it’s possible, take this cup of suffering away from me. However – not what I want but what you want.’”

In verse 40 it says, “He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, ‘Couldn’t you stay alert one hour with me? Stay alert and pray so that you won’t give in to temptation. The spirit is eager, but the flesh is weak.’ A second time he went away and prayed, ‘My Father if it’s not possible that this cup be taken away unless I drink it, then let it be what you want.’

In verse 43 it says, “Again he came and found them sleeping. Their eyes were heavy with sleep. But he left them and again went and prayed the same words for the third time. Then he came to his disciples and said to them, ‘Will you sleep and rest all night? Look the time has come for the Human One to be betrayed into the hands of sinner. Get up. Let’s go. Look, here comes my betrayer.’”

After reading this passage, there is always one important question that comes to mind. How often do our prayers focus on what God wants for our lives? Most of my prayers are centered on the self and I usually pray for my will to be done over God’s. How different would our lives look if our prayers focused on God’s will instead? Would we be able to feel His presence more? Would we be able to hear His voice more? Jesus, who admitted to feeling sad and anxious, still prayed for what his Father wanted to be done even in the midst of hardship. I love how you can see the human side of Jesus when He is asking for God to take the “cup of suffering away from” him. This is a great reminder to me that it’s ok if we struggle with our prayers. It’s ok if we have a hard time wanting to put God’s will above our own. However, we can’t forget that His will is and always will be greater than our own. Because Jesus trusted God’s will, we now have a bridge to our Heavenly Father when our time here on earth is done. Our sins have been wiped clean, they have been erased from God’s memory bank, and I’m truly excited about the room He is preparing for each of us. The next time you have some quiet time, pray for His will to be done and trust that He is there with you during the sad and anxious times too!

Prayer: Lord, please help me to feel your presence during the good and bad times. Please help me to always trust your will over mine. And finally, thank you for sending the gift of your son Jesus!