Devotion for Sunday, February 24, 2013

Brooke Eikenberry Lent 2013

After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.  (John 18:1)

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated.  Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.”  (Matthew 26:36-39)

Jesus and his closest friends were on the road again. Jesus had told them what lay ahead. They could not believe it! The weight of what was happening must have been unbearably heavy for Jesus. The Bible says that the group crossed the Kidron Valley. How far did they travel?

A garden that Matthew calls Gethsemane offered a quiet place to rest. Jesus left the group and went “over there” to pray. He asked his friends to stay awake with him. In his time of trouble, Jesus went to God in prayer.

Every time he went back to his friends for the support and strength they could offer, he found them asleep again. Finally, he returned to the group and said, “Are you still sleeping? The hour is upon us! Get up!”

No matter how far we travel – – no matter how weary we are – – no matter how heavy our burden becomes – – we need to remember that we can take it all to God in prayer.

Still Jesus calls us! The Hour has come! Get up!

 -Submitted by Susan Edenborough

The Garden of Gethsemane … betrayal Thursday night across the Kidron Valley
Jesus stood watching as all his disciples deserted him. Only Judas remained. Jesus had been betrayed with a kiss, then deserted by his friends. And his suffering had only begun.

GPS Prayer Journal (use this weekly prayer to help you begin your time with God each day)
Lord Jesus, you agonized while people who proudly claimed to be close to God plotted your destruction. But even when the sadness and fear was worst, you didn’t give up and run away from your mission. Because you didn’t, I can trust your faithfulness to help me grow, and to give me eternal life. Thank you for loving me (and all of us) that much. Amen.

GPS Reflection
Even though Jesus knew he could pray to God anywhere, he used the Garden of Gethsemane as a special place of prayer. We can also pray to God anywhere, yet we can follow in Jesus’ footsteps and identify a special place of prayer. Where do you feel most comfortable and at peace? Where would you enjoy spending time talking to and listening to God?

When we approach God in prayer, we often desire God to change our circumstances rather than for God to change us. How do the words of Jesus’ prayer take him from a place of prayer for change of circumstance toward a prayer of willingness to change his own future in favor of God’s will? How has your prayer life allowed God’s will to shape your life?

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