Pray More Earnestly

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In the Garden of Gethsemane, we read about Jesus being overwhelmed with sorrow, yet He is given additional strength from heaven... to pray more earnestly. What does this imply for us, His followers?

He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, "Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." An angel from Heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him. And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Luke 22:41-44 NIV

In this passage, Luke adds the point that an angel came and strengthened Jesus. We talked about this point earlier in the series, but I want you to understand something I think even more important here. The angel gave Jesus strength to continue. That illustrates so clearly the humanity of Christ. In fact, in all this passage, Christ, as we know Him, is called Jesus. Jesus, being a very common earthly name, was His birth name. His man name, if you will. Christ is His title, signifying His deity. He is The Christ, the Son of the Living God. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was still at His purest point of humanity. He was fully man, while remaining fully God.

The interesting point, though, is what happens after the angel strengthens Him. Jesus didn’t turn over all His problems, in fact, He began to pray “more earnestly”. Jesus was more involved after the angel than before. What does that teach us?

I think it illustrates a principle of Christian living. The Bible tells us to “cast our cares upon the Lord”. It also tells us to “pray without ceasing.” There is tremendous balance required here. We give our cares to the Lord, because He cares for us. We allow Him to work His will in our life, to solve our problems, to guide us along the way. That process, however, does not let us off the hook! We still have an obligation to pray. We still have to work through the problem with Christ. The difference is that we are using His strength and not our own. (And, do I need to remind you who is stronger?)

Jesus needed additional strength from Heaven to face the task at hand. So will you and I. Our role then is to use that strength to pray and work more earnestly than before to accomplish God’s will in our life.

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