The earthly brother of Jesus refers to life as a mist, a vapor that appears momentarily before vanishing, James 4:14. To anyone who has been in an accident, diagnosed with a rare disease or given a slim chance to survive, time becomes the enemy. After a wave of emotions rush through your mind, many turn to prayer as a last ditch effort to beat the odds.
And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire. 40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, What! Are you so utterly unable to stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? – Matthew 26:39-40
While prayer was designed by God as a proactive force to form hedges of protection, many Christians procrastinate. Waiting for a sense urgency to be conceived, Jesus’ own disciples are led late at night to pray for the future. However, tired bodies prevail, lulled into a false sense of security. After Jesus is arrested, Judas commits suicide and their fearless leader is sentenced to death, urgency arrives. While Peter denies knowing Jesus, I’m assuming some disciples were praying for a miracle before time ran out.
So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, using the same words. 45 Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of especially wicked sinners [whose way or nature it is to act in opposition to God]. 46 Get up, let us be going! See, My betrayer is at hand! – Matthew 26:44-46
Keith Green’s 1978 song Asleep in the Night was controversial at this time of it’s release. Just like the apathy demonstrated by Jesus’ disciples in the first century, many Christians continue to live their daily lives playing defense, reacting to hardships, trials and tribulations. Instead of praying through until runs out in a proactive manner, crying out to God often becomes more like wishful thinking. This bad habit must be broken by praying in the Spirit, Ephesians 6:18, so that Christians can begin to regain footholds lost to the enemy, Ephesians 4:27.
by Jay Mankus