Jesus Prays for His Followers

Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46;John 17:1-18:1

On the way to the garden Jesus stopped to pray with His disciples one last time. He said. “Father, the time has come, You gave Me these men and they listened and believed that You sent Me. For their sakes, keep them safe after I leave. While I was with them I guarded them but now I go to You so they can have more joy than they ever dreamed possible. The world may hate them, but You and I love them. Let them be one, as we are. As they go into the world now, be with them, as You were with Me and let the love You gave Me now live inside them.”

Jesus was asking the Father to protect all His followers for all time. He was praying for people like you and me. When He finished, He led them into the garden. There, He took Peter, James and John and they went off alone together. Jesus was very upset.

He said. “My soul is torn up inside, to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch.”

He was going to talk with His Father. Then He said, “Pray that you won’t be weak tonight.”

Jesus went off by Himself to pray a short distance away from the disciples, He fell onto the ground.

“Oh, Father!” Jesus cried out. “If it’s possible, don’t let me go through this pain. My Father, isn’t there any other way, must I go through this?”

Jesus knew God wasn’t making Him do anything, Jesus had chosen to obey. That way God could work miracles. He could offer all people for all times a chance to start over and be clean with God. Jesus looked up at the stars and said. “Father, I’m willing to do what You want.”

Then an angel from heaven came to Jesus and made Him stronger. As He prayed sweat poured down His face like drops of blood. Each one left a mark in the dust as it fell onto the ground. Finally, He stood up and went back to His disciples. They had fallen asleep! They were so sad and confused. They just curled up and went to sleep.

“Peter, are you asleep?”

“Couldn’t you even keep watch for one hour?” Stay awake with me and pray that you won’t be tempted tonight.”

This happened two more times. Jesus went off to pour His heart out to God but came back, only to find the disciples fast asleep. It was a lonely time for Jesus. When He came back the third time, He said. “Are you still sleeping?”

“All right! The time has finally come, look, get up, let’s go, look! There he is the one who betrays me!”