Lesson Three: The Gethsemane Prayer

Lesson Three: The Gethsemane Prayer

The Lord Jesus prayed on many occasions.  The gospel of Luke has a lot to say about Jesus and prayer.  He prayed at His baptism.  Luke 3:21.  Before choosing the twelve apostles He spent the previous night in prayer.  Luke 6:12-16.  At the feeding of the hungry multitude He blessed and broke the bread.  Luke 9:16.  On the mount of transfiguration He prayed while Peter, James, and John got a glimpse of His glory.  Luke 9:28, 29.  Jesus also prayed while nailed to the cruel cross of Calvary.  Luke 23:34-46.

Luke penned three parables that Christ taught about prayer.  In both Luke 11:5-8 and 18:1-18 we learn to be persistent in prayer.  In Luke 18:9-14 the lesson is about humility in prayer.

This lesson is devoted to His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane.  This prayer is recorded in Matthew 26:36-44 and Mark 14:32-40.  Here the emphasis is on intensity and persistence.

 

INTENSITY IN PRAYER

While His disciples slept, He "offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears...."  Hebrews 5:7.  According to Matthew 26:37, He was "sorrowful and deeply distressed."  Luke the physician wrote, "And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly.  And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."  Luke 22:44.  Such was the intensity with which Jesus prayed.

The sleeping disciples are representative of many Christians today.  Intensity and fervor are sadly lacking in most church prayer meetings.  In fact many churches have abandoned their midweek prayer meeting service because of lack of attendance.  Jesus asked, "Why do you sleep?"  Luke 22:28.  Would He repeat that question to you and your church today?  "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."  James 5:17.  Believers should pray with intensity.

 

PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER

While the Lord Jesus taught His disciples not to use vain repetition, He did instruct them to be persistent in prayer.  You'll remember that two of His parables about prayer highlighted the need for persistence.  He who said, "Ask, and it will be given to you," also added, "Seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."  Matthew 7:7.  Persistence means that we knock and keep on knocking.

In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed persistently.  Three times He cried, "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."  Some believers have a problem reconciling persistence and faith.  To them faith means that it is enough to pray about something just once.  The apostle Paul didn't share that belief.  He also besought the Lord on three occasions to remove a thorn in the flesh.  2 Corinthians 12:7-10.  Intensity and persistence characterized the apostle's prayer life.

This is a brief lesson, but for most of us it is not learned quickly.

 

Lesson Four: Answered Prayer

 
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