Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Simon,” he said to Peter, ‘are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.’ (Mark 14:37-38)
To pray is to discover one’s life calling. In the midst of one’s calling, to pray is to receive strength from God to remain in the power of the Lord, and to stay faithful to the course.
He tells us to pray with the specific goal that we not stumble and fall as we are doing our God-given assignments. By this, Jesus meant that God’s Word to us would cause us to struggle, rethink, wrestle, groan, weep, shout, and finally come to peace with our calling. And this type of praying is for us as we pray alone—and as we pray together.
The temptation about which our Lord prayed in this passage was not some small thing. Rather He was admonishing the disciples to pray lest they miss the calling of God on their lives. He knew the cross was looming before Him. He knew the cost of following His Father’s will. He knew that a divine encounter would send the resources of heaven to them in advance of the temptation. He received it as a result of His fervent intercession.
They fell asleep and denied their Lord. But God redeemed—and we are thankful.
Spirit of Truth, how often my spirit is willing but kept from victory by the weakness of my flesh! As You call me to faithfulness, may I stand firm, knowing that Your truth will help me to step into my calling. Help me to know that what You will perfectly equip me for what You have called me into! Give me a prayerful heart of peaceful trust to be the hands and feet of Christ wherever I go and in whatever situation I find myself.
–Adapted from Power Praying: Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer by David Chotka. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God that he is greater than all gods—and does what pleases him (Ps. 135:5-6). Give thanks that God has “set apart the godly for himself; . . . [and] hears [you] when [you] call” (Ps. 4:3). Confess your difficulty in accepting that what the Lord does is always good for you or will work out for good (Jer.29:11-14; Rom. 8:28). Commit yourself to spending time with God daily, reading his Word, and claiming these promises for your life. Ask God to keep you faithful as you seek to grow in him.
Pray that God’s plan and purpose will not be hindered by threats of Satan and his hosts as God does not want “anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
Resources for Prayer Leaders:
Prayerleader.com is a website devoted to growing prayer in the local church.
The Church Prayer Leaders Network is for anyone who desires to see his or her church make prayer foundational to its entire ministry. Click the link to find out the advantages to being a member of the CPLN!