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Daily Devotions – Strengthened through Prayer

 

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com

 

Matthew 26:37-44 (NIV)
37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

 

Who is the one who suffers in anguish in this text? Why? Is his anguish overcome in this text?

 

Holy Jesus, when I read the anguish that you experienced I realize that it is because of my sin and it takes my breath away. You knew what was ahead of You. The anticipation of the overwhelming pain and suffering must have tormented You in ways I could never imagine. Top that with the rejection, disappointment, and frustration, from desperately wanting the support of friends who let You down again and again. You knew what was ahead for the disciples and knew they needed strength through prayer, but that didn’t happen. Even though You were let down by your disciples, You were not let down by Your Father. Your Spirit was strengthened to help You to do Your Father’s will because of Your fervent prayers and trust in Him. I know how rotten it makes me feel when I have felt rejection, disappointment, and frustration from those I love or I thought I could trust. I have also known from experience what path people were heading, but they wouldn’t heed warnings or listen to prayerful concerns. You know what pain and sorrow are, and You can minister to me in my pain and disappointments in myself and in people. You give me the strength to do Your will even when no person on earth is paying attention. I can be let down by people, but You will never let me down. Your Spirit strengthens me to do Your will as I trust in You. You will never leave me or forsake me. Thank You, my Lord and Savior. Amen