In a vulnerable state, Jesus asks 3 close friends to stay with him and pray, Matthew 26:36-38. Going a little further into the garden of Gethsemane to be alone, Jesus begins pouring out his heart to his Heavenly Father. Returning an hour later, Jesus finds Peter, James and John sleeping instead of praying. Disappointed by their response to his time in need, Jesus asks this question in Matthew 26:40, “could you not tarry with me for one hour?”
Jesus reveals the purpose for prayer in Matthew 26:41:
1. Prayer keeps you spiritually alert.
2. Prayer protects your mind from temptations.
3. Prayers helps you tap into the willingness of the Holy Spirit.
While the context of this passage limits the scope of prayer, God has placed an unique burden upon my heart. During the month of March, God is leading me to prayer for an hour a day. Now I ask you, “will you tarry with me?”
I met a young missionary before graduating from college whose testimony included not using an alarm clock to get up. God woke up this individual at the same time every morning, 6am to begin his day in prayer, praising God. Inspired by his account, I tried to apply this to my own life during my final semester of college. To my surprise, God used sunlight shining directly on my pillow to arise and awaken me exactly at 6am. Although I tend to be a night owl, God answered my prayer every day for 3 months, keeping my prayer life active, my mind sober and excited for each new day.
When it comes to prayer, I am certainty not an expert. I tend to lean on the Psalms of David, who had a heart for God according to 1 Samuel 16:7. Whenever I start to lose focus, I’ll rely on Jesus’ outline in Matthew 6:5-15, the words of Jesus’ brother in James 5:13-20 and of course David in Psalm 32:1-11. You don’t have to be eloquent when you pray; all you need is a pure heart who seeks to know God. See what God can do when you if you devote one hour per day to prayer in March. May God perform miracles in your life!
by Jay Mankus