Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you don’t fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:39-42)
Mark 14:33-34 tells Jesus took only Peter, James, and John with him. He was deeply distressed and said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Jesus told His disciples to pray because they were also sad. In times of sorrow and anguish we seek pleasure to make ourselves feel better. Eating a second slice of cake, seeking importance, looking for love in the wrong places, or denying Jesus to avoid being laughed at or persecuted will result if we don’t seek God’s help through prayer.
Jesus’ cup is full with sorrow and anxiety. I imagine the enemy put clear images in his head of the beatings and stakes pounded through his flesh. He begs God to find another way to save mankind. But he knows there is no other way. He shows perfect love by seeking to please God, doing His will, and dying for us.
It’s God’s will for us to depend on Him for health and happiness. Giving up a bad habit or trait with God’s help that you’ve previously tried to give up on your own, but couldn’t, will help you accomplish health and happiness. As we’ve learned through study, we’ll need prayer and the Holy Spirit’s power. But what do we pray? We’ll learn from Jesus because He’ll also require God’s help to survive torture with dignity to demonstrate and say what we need to see and hear to completely follow God’s will.
On our journey to the cross, we’ve learned we need to pray for forgiveness, the power of the Holy Spirit, and for Satan not to tempt us. We must also pray for God to take our cup of sorrow, anguish, and resistance and let His will be done.
Father God, I praise and thank you for your perfect love. Show me which bad habit or trait I can’t give up without Your help and the power of the Holy Spirit. The one when surrendered that will create the most joy. Not the easiest habit or trait to end but the hardest. To follow Your will, Jesus survived beatings and stakes driven through his hands and feet with Your help, so I will survive too. Father, forgive me for my wrongdoings. Give me the power of Your Holy Spirit, lead me not into temptation, and deliver me from evil. Take away my cup of sorrow, anguish, and resistance and let Your will, not mine be done. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.