TODAY IN HIS WORD COMES FROM
(Matt. 26;27-44 NCV)
He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him, and he began to be very sad
and troubled. He said to them, "My heart is full of sorrow, to the point of death.
Stay here and watch with me."
After walking a little farther away from them, Jesus fell to the ground and prayed,
"My Father, if it is possible, do not give me this cup of suffering.
But do what you want, not what I want."
Then Jesus went back to his followers
and found them asleep. He said to Peter,
"You men could not stay awake with me for one hour?
Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation.
The spirit wants to do what is right,
but the body is weak."
Then Jesus went away a second time and prayed,
"My Father, if it is not possible for this painful thing
to be taken from me, and if I must do it,
I pray that what you want will be done."
Then he went back to his followers, and again he found them asleep,
because their eyes were heavy.
So Jesus left them and went away and prayed a third time,
saying the same thing.
THOUGHT TO PONDER:
Sometimes it can seem like we know a ton of people, but when calamity hits, or sorrows threaten to overwhelm us; we can look around and there is no one to pray with us. BUT take to heart when "man" lets you down, God doesn't. His Holy Spirit is waiting and willing to be there for us.
TODAY’S INSIGHT INTO HIS WORD:
When Jesus went to pray that night in the garden, He was deeply distressed. I have often wondered how His closest friends couldn't tell this (that He was distressed). Maybe it is because men are so different than women-- had it had been a bunch of women that night-- they would have known simply because a woman usually picks up on a girlfriend’s distress, and then cry right along with each other! But still as close as these men were, you would think they would have realized that something was wrong when Jesus was asking them to stay and pray with Him. He typically would go off completely by Himself, and the other men would have to go find Him. But this night was different. And when the men let Him down (and though God wouldn't take away the cup of suffering that Jesus asked Him to), God sent an angel to comfort Him. He didn't leave Jesus alone. Read how Luke talks of that night.
And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground (Luke 22:41-44 ESV).
My friend, this wasn't the only time God was looking for someone to intercede and stand on the wall for someone else. In Isa. 63 we read, "I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; and My own fury, it sustained Me" (Isaiah 63:5 NKJV).
Also in Ezekiel 22 it says, "So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads," says the Lord God" (22:30-31NKJV).
My friend, how sad this is! It brings us back to our devotional from yesterday... Moses got down in front of God for the people of Israel when God was willing to destroy them all for worshiping the golden calf. Moses interceded for them. The guilty ones suffered but the nation as a whole was saved, all because Moses was willing to stand in the gap for them. (See Ex. 32:30-32) It makes you wonder, who is God asking you to stand in the gap for? Just think you could be the one person that might make a difference for someone facing judgement. Or, maybe you are the one person that if willing-- could help someone have a mighty victory like Moses did for Joshua, standing on the hill the whole time with his arms raised up. Just think by doing so, Joshua has able to look up and be encouraged, and he kept fighting-- and WON! (See Ex. 17:8-17)
Are you willing to go the distance and prayerfully intercede for someone? It takes courage, stamina, and a willingness to see it through, to truly intercede for someone. Remember, that person (like Jesus) may be facing a huge situation in which they want to obey God, but they need the support and prayer from someone willing to stand with them.
The awesome thing, my friend, if YOU are the person needing prayer and feel you have no one; then know that you have Jesus! Just as He stood with Paul, He will stand with you. At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion (2 Tim 4:16-17 NKJV).
My friend-- please know that you are not alone.
PRAYING IN FAITH:
Father God, thank You for being with us. Lord, thank You that when it seems like we have no one, we have YOU. Thank You too, that so often you do send someone to stand beside us in the here and now. Thank You that YOU know-- and even Your Word says that two are better than one, and that a cord of three strands is not easily broken. Thank You that You do not leave us to fight alone, that You are with us, and You go before us. Father God, I lift this reader up to You and I stand with them in their prayers to You. Lord, I pray You will strengthen them and watch over them. Lord, I ask You to be a banner for them, and a shield in front of them. Lord, may You fill them with Your Holy Spirit. Lord, I ask that You guide their steps on the path that You would have for them, and let no one over take them.
In Christ Jesus Name,
~ My friend, please know that I am praying for you. Have a blessed and wonderful day!