As Jesus and the disciples are journeying, they come to the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus’ heart is heavy. He is grieved and distressed (v. 37). What Jesus does next is instructive for us in handling our emotions. Jesus acknowledges and communicates His feelings to His friends and He prays to God (v. 38-39). Jesus knew that He would be facing a tremendous trial, so He prayed before the trial. Jesus prayed the same prayer three times. After the third prayer, Jesus’ spirit is renewed. He is now ready to carry the cross, endure the pain, and save the world!
In praying the same prayer three times, Jesus teaches us to PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens! Each time you pray, your spirit becomes more willing to do the will of God. Your resolve is strengthened and your courage is renewed.
I submit to you that the victory of Calvary was won that night in the garden of Gethsemane. The strength by which Jesus dealt with being betrayed by a disciple, denied by a friend, suffered injustice from the hand of the Sanhedrin, falsely accused by his own people, humiliated before a crowd, and tried unfairly by Pilate, was the outcome of the struggle, agony and victory of Gethsemane. Knowing that the test was coming, Jesus prayed.
Many temptations come upon us unannounced and catch us unaware, and all that we can really do is cry to God for help then and there. But some of the temptations of life we can see approaching from the distance. In those instances the victory should be won before the temptation really reaches us.
When the company announces that they are going to start laying off people in 3 months, start praying for the test that is coming. When your “ex” texts you to let you know he or she is going to be in town this weekend, you know the test is coming. Long before prom night, you know the test is coming. You already knew you are going to have to deal with drama this holiday season, so start praying now. When you see a crisis coming, that’s the time to start praying because the victory often comes before the crisis shows up.