Jun 8, 2017   admin

Matthew 26:40-41 NIV
[40] Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn't you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. [41] “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

     Intensity in prayer and the ability to remain awake have everything to do with whether or not you are the one going through the challenge. For the parent whose child is in danger, there is no problem with maintaining focus on this passion in prayer. The father who has lost or is about to lose his employment will be much more apt to opt for prayer over repose. On the eve of one’s crucifixion, there is surely motivation aplenty for prolonged prayer that is not affected by heavy eyelids. 

     This passage itself can be motivation for hour-long prayer meetings with its query of “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” Great effort might be expended to fulfill this task and even sometimes successfully. However, there is a small phrase that might be especially helpful in accomplishing this by a motivation other than guilt - “with me”. 

     The disciples might not necessitate too much criticism, or looking down upon. After all, it wasn’t their crucifixion that was taking place the next day. (Or was it?) Surely if they could have known their personal connection and identification with the morrow’s happenings, theirs would have been an unprompted vigil. There was yet to be a unity brought on by the Spirit’s outpouring, so they were also deprived of what would eventually transform their perspective. If they would have truly been united with Jesus in Spirit, what He was about to go through would have been their own personal identification. - and their motivation to tarry for at least an hour. 

     There are certainly a great number of circumstances that are continually in need of prayer. For our nation, our church body, physical bodies, and provision there is a need for sustained prayer of fervency. Certainly this prayer will be most effective when it is prayed. Guilt and obligation, however, will probably prove insufficient as motivators, while “with” may have the results Jesus was longing for. To be full of the Spirit is to be much more than spiritually elevated above those of “lesser” understanding. It is to be united in heart and spirit “with” those who are in the middle of the storm, and to, unprompted, let go of slumber and pray, as if the storm were your own challenge. 

     There is an answer/salvation that is but in need of a request, and a victory that is but in need of a passionate prayer. How many a triumph will be experienced as a result of those who have been moved with compassion from a heart that is “with” the object of the prayer. Rather than praying “for”, as if it were someone else’s need, praying “with” makes it our need together, and our united passion and fervency in prayer.