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Prayer Principles for the Painful Path Ahead (Part 4)

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

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TEXT: Matthew 26:36-44

As we have been studying this passage of Scripture, we have seen the humility, the bravery, the submissiveness, and the fortitude of Jesus Christ. I am sure that all of us would say that, when it comes to the matter of prayer and doing God's will, we want to be like Him. However, in this message, we are going to shift gears and look at the disciples; because I am afraid that most of us more often end up like the disciples in this passage rather than our Lord.
 
Our passage tells us that Jesus Christ is agonizing in prayer. Three distinct times, we are told that Jesus separates himself and goes to pray. In fact, you can think of it as a boxing match with three rounds. Jesus goes and, through prayer, does battle against His own will, against the temptation of the devil, and against the weakness of His human body. After each of these rounds, Jesus comes back to His "corner" (that is, where He left His disciples), and instead of finding them supporting Him, praying with Him, and cheering Him on, He finds them sleeping. The text says, "And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
 
How many times have you sat down or knelt down to pray and soon felt sleepy, lethargic, tired, and weary? The body -- that is, our flesh -- does not like such discipline. It rebels against rigors of any type, but especially spiritual rigors. Now, our spirit wants to pray; the Holy Spirit spurs us on to prayer. But, often, we let our flesh overrule our spirit and we end up cutting our prayer time short, rushing through our prayer time, or not praying at all. That is what happened to the disciples. 

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