This post was written by Pastor Barry Rager. Pastor Barry is the Pastor of Vision and Preaching at New Circle Church.
The Bible is an amazing book. So often, as I prepare for and write sermons, I struggle to limit myself to one primary idea. This week was no exception. Luke's account of Jesus' time in the Garden of Gethsemane is packed full of truth. One of the blessings of this blog is that I can pass on some of the gold I found in prep that didn't support the overall theme of the sermon.
The following is an adaptation of one of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons 'Gethsemane.' I hope it speaks to you as much as it did to me.
Jesus prayed a lonely prayer.
Jesus withdrew from his friends a stones throw to seek his Father. Throughout Jesus’ life we see him often engaging in solitary prayer. Spurgeon wrote, “Believer, especially in temptation, be much in solitary prayer. As private prayer is the key to open Heaven, so is it the key to shut the gates of Hell. As it is a shield to prevent, so is it the sword with which to fight against temptation.”
Jesus prayed a Son’s prayer.
Jesus began his prayer by saying, “O My Father.” Mark uses the words “Abba, Father.” When Jesus taught his followers how to pray he encouraged them to come to God as Father. As you pray to God in the face of hardship come to him as a child, as an adopted son or daughter of the King. Again, Spurgeon wrote, “You have no rights as a subject. You have forfeited them by your treason, but nothing can forfeit a child’s right to a father’s protection.”
Jesus prayed a prayer of resignation.
When Jesus was seeking God he prayed, ‘…not as I will, but as You will.” Jesus put aside his own self-preservation and chose obedience to his Father. Last, Spurgeon wrote, “Be perfectly content to leave the result of your prayer in His hands, who knows when to give, and how to give, and what to give, and what to withhold.”
May these words be a blessing and an encouragement to you as you seek God in prayer!
May the LORD bless you and keep you this week,