He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” [Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.] When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” (Luke 22:39-46, NRSV)
Pray that you may not come into the time of trial…
What did Jesus mean by this? Most of us pray every week, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…” or “Save us from the time of trial…”
We confess that we will face the trials and temptations of this world, because Jesus did so will we. So what did Jesus mean when He said, “pray so that you may not come into the time of trial?”
And how does this impact us today?
I like the question when He returns, “Why are you sleeping?” Have you ever been praying and all of sudden you wake up and wonder when you stopped praying and went to sleep?
I have. I have fallen asleep while praying many a time. Sometimes it is embarrassing. Why? Until now no one even knew! I was embarrassed because I was talking to God and I fell asleep. But I have done this to other friends before too. Sometimes I have been so into the conversation and it was so relaxing I felt like I was taken away.
But you see in this moment in the garden, Jesus is wanting them to pray that they will not be going with Him. They need to be alert, and ready.
Are you alert and ready?
Have you fallen asleep when Jesus has asked you to be at the guard?
Jesus will save us, and will be with us. No matter what the trial, or the temptation. He will always be there. Just listen to Him and heed what He asks of you.