THURSDAY, MARCH 22
“And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And He said to Peter, ‘So, could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’”
MATTHEW 26:40-41 ESV
RUNNING FROM THE TRUTH: BOREDOM
Just in case your boss catches you asleep at your desk, be ready to blurt out one of these excuses: “They told me at the blood bank that this might happen.” “This is just a 15-minute power nap like they raved about in that time management course you sent me to.” “I wasn’t sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm!” “This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!” “I was testing the keyboard for drool resistance.” “I’m in the management training program.” “I’m actually doing a Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan (SLEEP) I learned at the last mandatory seminar you made me attend.” “Ah, the unique and unpredictable circadian rhythms of the workaholic!” “I wasn’t sleeping. I was trying to pick up my contact lens without my hands.” And last but not least blurt out “In Jesus Name. Amen!” (Jason Jones, “Why Not to Sleep in Church”)
In Matthew 26 Peter is caught sleeping and there is nothing he can say. Jesus warned him then that being alert and praying was a way to prevent falling into temptation. All week we have been looking at the things that led up to Peter’s denial and part of his problem started in the garden when he was sleeping and should have been praying. We are safe in assuming that Peter was tired and maybe even got bored while he was praying and just couldn’t stay awake.
The spiritual disciplines, like prayer, are the necessary means God has chosen to mature us and prepare us to follow Him. According to seminary professor Don Whitney, “The spiritual disciplines are those practices found in Scripture that promote spiritual growth among believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are habits of devotion, habits of experiential Christianity that have been practiced by God’s people since biblical times.” Some of those disciplines include prayer, bible study, fasting, worship and service.
What is the most time you have ever taken to pray in one setting? How about adding a little time to that today? We’ve studied Matthew 26 and John 18 this week. Read those chapters and pray as you go along about the things God shows you in His word.