Dear Dayspring Family,

Last month, we began looking at the prayer of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 26:36-46.  We saw a number of important truths about prayer from this prayer of Jesus, and hopefully have put some of these into practice in our own lives this past month.

However, we do not only learn from the good example of Jesus’ praying, but also from the poor example of the disciples.  Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians 10 that we ought to learn from the stories of the failures of God’s people in the Old Testament.  Even so, we may also learn some valuable lessons from the stories of the failures of Jesus’ disciples in the New Testament.  So, just as we learned from the prayer of Jesus, so we learn from the prayerlessness of the disciples of Jesus in Matthew 26:36-46.


In verse 39, Matthew records that Jesus asked His disciples to “watch” or pray  with Him.  However, when He returned to find a short time later, he found them sleeping (verse 40).  So again, in verse 41, he told them to “watch and pray”.  He returned a second time after an hour or so and saw that they were sleeping again (verse 43).

Finally, after praying a third time himself, He returned only to find that they were once again sleeping (verse 45).

I want you to notice two things here: First, this passage tells us why we should pray.  Second, it reveals to us WHY the disciples did not pray.  We will look at both parts of this.

First, why should  we pray? So that we will not be spiritually weak and so give in to temptation.   In Verse 41 Jesus encourages His disciples to “watch and pray”.  The word translated watch has the idea of being “on guard” like a watchman.  So, we are praying with the knowledge that Satan wants to drag us into sin - that we will not be overcome by temptation. 

Now temptation can mean two things: 1) An enticement to sin, or 2) a period of severe testing.  So, He is saying that you cannot overcome any test of your faith or temptation to sin without prayer.  Why is this?  Because “the spirit is willing, but the body is weak".   In other words, we may desire to overcome temptation.  But desire is not enough.  We need the power of God.  If you go back to verses 33-35 you will see that the disciples clearly wanted to remain faithful to Jesus; that is, they desired this in their hearts.  But they were too weak in body and mind.  They did not have the strength to withstand Satan's attack.

The same is true for us.  Everyday we will struggle with sin. We will be tempted to compromise. We will be tempted to not speak to others about Jesus when we have the opportunity or to simply be ashamed of Him in front of others.  Because of this, we need supernatural power, and Jesus said that this only comes by serious prayer.

That takes us to our second question:  Why did the disciples not pray as they should have?  Basically, they did not think they needed it.  This is evidenced by four things we see in their lives.

1)         They were satisfied with where they were spiritually.  Jesus warned them (in vs.31-34) that they, in fact, were NOT spiritually strong, that they were NOT where they needed to be and that they would fail - Peter especially. But they were satisfied with where they were.  They were confident that they did not need any special help from God.  So, they did not take Jesus' word seriously.

Are we satisfied with where we are spiritually?  We cannot afford to be.  We should always want to be growing, to become more like Jesus Christ.  And we should not be satisfied with our progress until we are made fully like Him when He returns.

2)         They were not aware of what was about to happen.  They had no idea what was about to happen and so they were not prepared.  If they had only realized what they were about to face with the arrest of Jesus and everything that followed, the surely would have been crying out to God rather than sleeping.  Peter did not know that he was about to face a decision to either be a great witness for Christ, or a compromiser.  Had he known, he certainly would have been praying.

How often is this true for us?  We don't know what we are about to face, so we don't pray.  But we never know what we will face, do we?  How would it change your prayer life if you knew that you could be thrown into jail tomorrow - or if you knew that you would be persecuted at work for your faith in Jesus? You would surely spend more time in prayer.  But, none of us knows what we face tomorrow.  So, what is the only way we can be prepared for whatever we face?  Pray.

3)         They had not learned to discipline themselves to pray. This is why Jesus asked in verse 40, "Could you not pray with me for one hour?"

The disciples of Jesus had not learned to pray for long periods of time.  They had not disciplined themselves to pray when it was not convenient.  They had not learned to make prayer a priority over everything - even sleep.  They did not see the importance of putting spiritual needs over physical needs.


4)         They were disobedient to the LORD's word.   They disobeyed what Jesus told them to do in verse 38, which was "keep watch (i.e. pray) with me".  They may well have rationalized that this was not that serious - just as we often do.

We know we are commanded to pray individually - and to pray as a church.  But we rationalize that it is not that important, or that we just don’t have time with all that we have to get done today, or we put it off for later in the day, only to never get to it.  But the fact is that we are commanded to pray, and so to fail to pray is not just unwise; it is sin.

So what was the result of Jesus’ prayer?  The author of Hebrews says it well. “...Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God”. Hebrews 12:2 (ESV) 

And what was the result of the disciples’ prayerlessness?  They all “deserted Him and fled" (verse 55) Peter swore up and down that he did not know Jesus (verses 69-75).

But that is fortunately NOT the end of it.  Peter failed.  But he did not remain a failure.  By the Feast of Pentecost in Acts 2, was heard preaching a bold sermon about Jesus being the only way to be saved in the very same city in which he denied Jesus. What was the difference?  He had been praying with the rest of the church for ten days.  And that made all the difference in the world!

Brothers and sisters, we cannot hope or expect to consistently resist sin or stand for Jesus Christ in this generation without the same power of the Spirit - which only comes through prayer!

We need to resolve right now to be people who pray, regularly, passionately - and even together - for the power of God in our lives!

Pastor Dave





Upcoming Events

Church Officers - It's that time of year again. During the month of July we will take nominations for officers for the upcoming year. Please give your nominations to one of the following: Pastor Dave, Lloyd Strickland or Steve Harbin. 

The  Monday Walk n Talk  (7-8pm ) has found a new cooler location: The Strickland Pool Hope to see you there.

Thanks Dayspring for ,making the Baby Bottle Boomerang campaignn such a success $932.61 was collected for the Pregnancy Center

Movene Futch and MaryEllenn Strickland will be traveling to Latvia starting August 3rd. Chocolate Chip, pecans and zip lock bags(any size) would love to tag along with them. If you would like to hel,p provide these items please bring them to Church before Sunday July 29.  Space is limited

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