Jesus went out as usual to the mount of olives. His disciples followed him. When they reached the place, Jesus spoke. “Pray that you won’t fall into sin when you are tempted,” he said to them. Then he went a short distance away from them. There he got down on his knees and prayed. He said, “father, if you are willing, take this cup of suffering away from me. But do what you want, not what I want.” An angel from heaven appeared to Jesus and gave him strength. Because he was very sad and troubled, he prayed even harder. His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Luke 22:39-44, NIRV
What do we do when we’re going through a crisis? When we’re being tempted and tested? When we’re facing pressure from every side? When life seems to let loose its arrows on us? What do we do at such a time as this when the whole world is faced with a global pandemic? What do you do?
Some cry, some get mad, some want to get even, some take to bottles or substance. Some transfer that pain to others closest to them, their family members. But Jesus is showing us how to deal with pain.
When Jesus was faced with the reality of going to the cross, he was greatly troubled. But then, he knew where best to direct the pain. Look at the last 2 lines of the above scripture again:
Because he was very sad and troubled, he prayed even harder. His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
When life seems to be pressing in on us, we need to press back in the place of prayer. The more troubled Jesus was, the harder he prayed. He so much agonized that his veins burst. He was sweating blood. That must be deep pain and agony.
Friends, Jesus has shown us an example. There’s no better way. In the place of prayer, we receive 3 things. The first thing we saw was an angel appearing to Jesus. We receive COMPANY, divine company. In the place of prayer, we hook up with God. Prayer is like linking arm with the Almighty.
Secondly, we receive COMFORT. The angel brought comfort to Jesus. We need that when we are troubled and especially when nothing else seems to be working. When pain becomes unbearable, we need the comfort and peace that only God can give. Paul told the Christians in Corinth about the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles.
And lastly, we receive COURAGE. We receive confidence to face whatever is facing us. And that is what happened to Jesus. He was able to face his opposition and confront them. Prayer gives us that courage to deal with whatever life is throwing at us. We need that at such a time as this.