Today I was reading about when Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane just before he is arrested and he asks his disciples to sit and pray.
“Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Matthew 26:40-41 NLT
Susan talks about this time in prayer as being preparation for what was to come. She asks, “I can’t help but wonder: what if they, like Jesus, had wrestled in prayer till they came to a point of complete obedience and surrender? Would they have been able to stand their ground when Jesus was arrested?”
She later says “Jesus knew just how fragile their faith could be. And he gave them – and gives us – the armor of prayer to guard against that fragility.”
Such a thought provoking reminder that prayer literally covers everything.
And it reminds me that “not feeling like it” is the very best time to pray. It’s actually when I need it the most. Yet like the disciples, it’s easy to say, I’ll just rest a while. I’ll close my eyes for just a minute. Or I’ll distract myself with this…
What I’ve come to experience time and again, is that the best antidote to upset, agitation, worry or fear – is prayer and the best time is right now. There is no need to calm down first. I can speak honestly from my heart, out loud, in my head, where-ever, when-ever.
Then after the wrestle (when I’ve been too upset or too worried or too …. whatever!) to pray but I pray anyway – comes surrender (rest). The circumstances maybe unchanged, but there’s a shift – my faith is stronger, I feel anchored, and there is an unexplainable peace.