36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”Like our savior and Lord Jesus Christ, we too have our own garden of Gethsemane moments. Let us glean from our Lord’s Prayer in the garden and put that into practice.
1. Total Surrender: V 39 O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” – Like Jesus, we have to surrender our will, our plan for a greater plan. As far as the heavens are above the earth so are his ways and his thoughts greater than ours (Isa 55:8-9). We need to remember in our trials that God’s purpose for us is not our happiness but our holiness. What we lay down on the altar he will bless it and give it back to us 100 fold – if we hold on to it, it will be a blessing only to us. If we release it, then it becomes a blessing to many – like the 5 loaves and 2 fishes – the little boy had to let go of his meal so God’s name can be glorified. Salvation is free (though it costs Jesus his life), but anointing is costly. When we see someone ministering with much anointing and power we will not know what they had to lay on the altar. Today don’t be afraid to surrender your will, your plans to the Lord.
2. Way out is actually through it: V 42 O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” – Sometimes the only way out of a problem is actually through it. We will try hard to avoid it, but God sometimes wants us to go through it, so the image of His son may be seen in us. So we may have compassion for others who also have the same or similar trials. Sometimes the cup doesn’t pass from us until we drink it. We have to go through the red sea or through the Jordan sometimes. It may be a scary process, but at the end He gets the glory. Let us remember that our momentary afflictions cannot be compared to the surpassing glory God has prepared for us.
3. Lonely Path: V40 - Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? When God takes you through the Garden of Gethsemane, it is a lonely experience. Not even his inner circle of disciples could be with him. No one is there to pray with you, no one can understand what you are going through – even your own brothers and sisters, your own parents, you own spiritual mentors. That’s when you rely only on God and his power and his grace. We read the same account in Luke’s gospel that “Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him” – Luke 22:43; When man cannot comfort us or strengthen us, that’s when God himself comes for our help. We come out of the garden, not sad, not lonely but with full of purpose and anointing and power. In this lonely path we find intimacy with God. It's no longer about answered prayers; it is about intimacy with him.
May God himself minister to you as you prevail on your knees in the garden.