Staying Strong (18 February 2021)

Morning Encounter:

Read:

Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives, as he often did, and his disciples went with him. When they got there, he told them, “Pray that you won’t be tested.”

Jesus walked on a little way before he knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you will, please don’t make me suffer by having me drink from this cup. But do what you want, and not what I want.”

Then an angel from heaven came to help him. Jesus was in great pain and prayed so sincerely that his sweat fell to the ground like drops of blood.

Jesus got up from praying and went over to his disciples. They were asleep and worn out from being so sad. He said to them, “Why are you asleep? Wake up and pray that you won’t be tested.”

(Luke 22: 39-46)

Reflect:

Jesus and his disciples have had their Passover meal and in a short while Jesus will be arrested, tortured and crucified. His prayer is private and raw. When he comes back to the group and finds them asleep, he wakes them; they need to be praying if they are to stay strong.

There are many things that undermine faith, among them suffering, exhaustion, distraction and isolation. Praying with others who follow Christ builds us up, bolsters our resolve and gives us courage to stay in the fight.

Respond:

Thank God for the Christians you have in your life, and for the encouragement they are to you.

Midday Meditation:

“The prisoner, the sick person, and the Christian in exile sees in the companionship of a fellow Christian a physical sign of the gracious presence of the triune God…It is easily forgotten that the fellowship of Christian brethren is a gift of grace, a gift of the Kingdom of God that any day may be taken from us.”

(Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together)

Evening Reflection:

“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

(Ephesians 6.10-11, 18)

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