Mark 14:37, “Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?”
The night of Jesus’ arrest He asked His disciples if they could pray for just one hour, but they ended up falling asleep. The Bible records this event in Mark 14:37-38, “Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Simon,’ he said to Peter, ‘are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’”
I still believe Jesus is asking us as His disciples to pray with Him for one hour. We will sit down and watch a two-hour movie and time will fly by. We will attend our favorite sporting games and three hours will pass like seconds and we’ll even get excited when it goes into overtime. However, when it comes to daily private prayer with the Lord, hardly any Christian spends one hour or more alone with God. And sadly, those who try to have a consistent prayer life often times consider their daily devotion more of a chore than a joy.
We as a church should be grieved that the Lord Himself has asked us to pray with Him for one hour and we refuse to make the time.
Is it any wonder we don’t see our lost family members saved or sense God’s presence in our homes? Is it any wonder that our church services are weak and powerless or that we hardly see any demons cast out? Is it any wonder our marriages are falling apart just like in the world or that our children are more depressed and anxious than any generation? Is it any wonder that Marxism is taking over our universities or that most of our politicians and big business are corrupted? Is it any wonder that most Christians feel weak and beat up all the time or that our children have more in common with rappers and sport stars than the disciples in the book of Acts? Prayerlessness always results in powerlessness.
If Jesus, God in the flesh, made time to pray for hours at a time, how much more should we pray for at least one hour a day? One preacher noted concerning today’s passage, “When Jesus prayed, the disciples slept. However, when the Jews came to arrest Jesus, they ran away afraid but Jesus stood strong. What made the difference? Prayer.” Another way of saying it is, “Those who pray- stay; and those who don’t pray- stray.”
Make a personal stand for prayer in the following four ways; (1) Develop a consistent prayer life everyday (1 Thessalonians 5:17). (2) Encourage those around you to faithfully pray and seek God’s will for their life (Matthew 7:7-8). (3) Pray with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). (4) Make prayer and communion with God as normal as thinking to yourself. Be aware of God’s presence everywhere you go (Psalm 16:11).
How is your prayer life?
- Explain from the Bible why you should stand for prayer. The reason prayer was so easily removed from our schools and government is because it was already removed from our homes and churches.
- Pray that God will use you to encourage others to have a prayer life.
- Resources: “Prayer,” by E.M. Bounds and “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire,” by Jim Cymbala.
One Year Reading Plan
Zechariah 6:1-7:14, Revelation 15:1-8, Psalm 143:1-12, & Proverbs 30:24-28. Click here to read online.