And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
(Luke 22:39-46 ESV)
We see, firstly, in this passage, an example of what believers ought to do in time of trouble.The great Head of the Church Himself supplies the pattern. We are told that when He came to the Mount of Olives, the night before He was crucified, “He knelt down and prayed.”
It is a striking fact, that both the Old and New Testaments give one and the same receipt for bearing trouble. What does the book of Psalms say? “Call upon me in the time of trouble–I will deliver you.” (Psalm 50:15.) What does the apostle James say? “Is any afflicted? let him pray.” (James v. 13.)
- Prayer is the remedy which Jacob used, when he feared his brother Esau.
- Prayer is the remedy which Job used when property and children were suddenly taken from him.
- Prayer is the remedy which Hezekiah used when Sennacherib’s threatening letter arrived.
- And prayer is the remedy which the Son of God Himself was not ashamed to use in the days of His flesh. In the hour of His mysterious agony He “prayed.”
Let us take care that we use our Master’s remedy, if we want comfort in affliction. Whatever other means of relief we use, let us pray. The first Friend we should turn to ought to be God. The first message we should send ought to be to the throne of grace. No depression of spirits must prevent us. No crushing weight of sorrow must make us speechless. It is a prime device of Satan, to supply the afflicted man with false reasons for keeping silence before God. Let us beware of the temptation to brood sullenly over our wounds. If we can say nothing else, we can say, “I am oppressed–undertake for me.” (Isaiah. 38:14.)