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Kingdom Watch

Wednesday, March 27th
Kingdom Watch
By: Pastor Shane

Matthew 26:36-46

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 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.

45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

 Are we genuinely keeping watch? Or are we sleeping?
 In Matthew’s account of the night in Gethsemane, he reminds us that Jesus prayed alone (26:39, 42). After making and restating the request to His closest followers to keep watch and help intercede in prayer, He finds the disciples sleeping instead of praying with Him (26:40, 43, 45). At this point, it is clear that the most pressing matter for the Master was not met with the same concern by the disciples.

“I am praying for you.” Depending on your experience, this phrase may generate different thoughts or emotions. In our current culture, especially on social media platforms, this phrase is used repeatedly when times of hardship are made public. Some have even lost the motivation to use words and resolve to post images or emojis depicting praying hands. Some post “praying.” Others, “prayers up.”

 Furthermore, when faced with a difficult situation and unsure how to respond, we often say, “Well...” I am praying for you.” Or, when things appear hopeless and beyond human intervention, we say, “We are praying.”

  In The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer,” Bounds writes: “Few Christians have anything but a vague idea of the power of prayer; fewer still have any experience of that power. The Church seems almost wholly unaware of the power God puts into her hand.”
 Here is the bottom line. Prayers make a difference! Do you believe that? When asked to keep watch and pray, how do we honor carrying those who have made the request? When we say, “I am praying for you,” we are saying that we have committed to interceding for you, believing that our petitions to the King of Kings can transform everything. Therefore, commit to action! Keep watch and pray!

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