Hope To The End .......... Holidays
The Agony in the Garden
praying in the midnight hour
Matthew 26:36; Mark 14:32; Luke 22:39; John 18:1
Because of the sincerity of Jesus, He had a reputation for resorting to prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas knew that Jesus often came there after the bustle of the day to have quiet solitude with the Father...a retreat from the stress of the day --a garden of sweet communion and fellowship with His Father.
Jesus spent most of His life in prayer. He would rise up very early before dawn to pray. Mark 1:35
He would spend entire evenings and night in prayer. Mark 6:46, 47 and Luke 6:12.
He would pray at the midnight hour. (Gethsemane) He would "pray-through.".
To pray-through means to stay on our knees until we hear from God ; not audibly (although that is possible, but more often than not we hear in the spirit, our "inner witness").
Perseverance in prayer is to "be still and know that I AM God". Psalm 46:10
Jesus knew how to remain on His knees, hours at a time.
"Could you not watch one hour with Me"?
It is not necessary to kneel in order to pray. Like J Vernon McGee says, "just so our hearts are kneeling".
Jesus spent forty days in the desert, praying and fasting. He could apply the mental discipline required to focus in on the objects of prayer. He could tarry in prayer...linger...meditate, recall Scripture applications, having a two- way conversation with God. Do we listen in prayer ?
Judas knew where to go when he needed to find Jesus. He could find Him on His knees in prayer, in the garden of Gethsemane.
Gethsemane means "olive press". It is a
garden interspersed with old gnarled olive trees. The oil was
pressed out of the olives here at the oil press. This is
indicative of the oil of unction and anointing for this mission
of martyrdom that Jesus received by being pressed beyond measure
there in the Garden.
It was here in Gethsemane that Our Lord allowed all the horrors of the next 15 hours to penetrate his mind, soul and spirit. He would carefully weigh the full price of Redemption here in this garden and say "Yes" .... out across the whole universe for all time, for all souls. Gethsemane is the reference point for commitment. This was Jesus' moment of truth. It was here that the plan of salvation hung in the balance--the plan laid out before the foundation of the world.
Revelation 13: 8 : Acts 2:23 ; Acts 15:18 ; John 18:4; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22; Luke 22:37; Luke 24:7.
The total comprehension and understanding of all that was to take place as Jesus mulled over Isaiah 53,
Psalm 22 and Psalm 69 plus other Scriptures weighed heavily upon Him. He despised the ignominy and shame of the cross [ Hebrews 12:2 ]
and yet in obedience to the Father, and because of His love for His Bride --- we the Church --- He willingly embraced it.
"Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set
before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2
It is said that the cross consists of 2 lines :one horizontal (my will ) and the other line vertical, God's will. That's the cross.
Jesus gave us the way through the fire and the flood that night in the Garden of Olives. Jesus said,
"Not my will but thine be done." That is the answer to all of life and its trials.
"Fear not: for I have Redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name " ; ( not a subdermal number )
"thou art Mine."
"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee;
and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:
when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned;
neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
For I AM the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior."
Isaiah 43: 1-3
We are to daily pick up our cross and follow Jesus. We are to daily die to self and lay down our will to the will of the Father. "Not my will. but Thine be done".
The Father will never take us where His grace can not sustain us.
His grace is sufficient for all trials.
"My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness". 2 Corinthians 12:9
And even though our Lord was pressed out of measure that He sweated as it were great drops of blood, He was not left comfortless. Angels attended unto Him, strengthening Him. We have more than angels for our comfort. We have the Comforter Himself---the Holy Ghost--strengthening us all the way through martyrdom if need be. The Holy Ghost has been given to all Believers ever since Pentecost.
There is no pain nor death awaiting us that has not been filtered through the Blood of Jesus Christ.
There is Overcoming Power for us in His Precious Blood ! hopetotheend.com/blood.html
SETTING OUR FACE LIKE FLINT
The Church stands at her Midnight Hour.
The evils of the Great Tribulation are soon coming.
Some of us will indeed "take our rest" (Mark 14:41....meaning to go in the rapture)
and some of us need to pray not to enter into temptation.
(Luke 22:46 for those who remain)
Our souls will be tempted and tried as never before.
We need the sustaining grace of God. We need to be prayer-warriors.
We need to submit totally to the will of God.
Then we can resolutely say :" Rise up, let us go." Mark 14:42
Prayer is our source of comfort: "You can talk about me all you please; I'll talk about you on my knees"
Prayer changes things.
And : "Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, and despise our persons;
but they are helpless against our prayers." J. Baxtor
Praying for our enemies ---- but not necessarily fellow-shipping with them. ( Practice discernment and common sense )
"He drew a circle that shut me out
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win;
We drew a circle that took him in." by Edwin Markham ( make sure you are led of the Holy Ghost ).
(Encirculing one with prayer ..and not necessarily with fellowship.
Only repentance and a permanent change of heart --being born-again -- can open up true fellowship )
" Be not unequally yoked with together with unbelievers :
for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness ?
and what communion hath light with darkness?
"And what concord hath Christ with Belial ?
Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel ?
"And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols ?
for ye are the temple of the Living God ....
wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord,
and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you."
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
* * * *
Jesus could "pray without ceasing"( 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ) -- an all-day long dialogue with God within the prayer-closet of our own soul, as needs arose amidst a busy world. We too can have a "connected-attitude" with God all day long, commenting to Him within the affairs of our day.
Jesus could pray in tongues (see Stirring Up the Gift) and experience the sweet "afterglow" of remaining in the presence of God.
All prayer requires the ability to put oneself into the presence of God. To do so makes God a Living God, an actuality, a reality more real than our visual surroundings.
"When Thou saidst, 'Seek ye My face"...."my heart said unto Thee: 'Thy face, LORD, will I seek" Psalm 27.
A life of prayer is the healthiest life one can live...to always have a Confidante, an advocate (Hebrews 7:25 and 1 John 2:1);
a friend and a Wonderful Counselor ( Isaiah 9:6 ).
What a friend we have in Jesus. Hymn: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/w/a/f/wafwhij.htm
In Genesis 32, Jacob struggled in prayer all through the long night, and he wouldn't let go of Our Lord until He, the LORD, blessed him. Jacob "prayed through." That is the concept behind the word "Peniel"...."for I have seen God face to face".
From that point on, Jacob was called "Israel" meaning "governed by God". When we turn to the Lord in prayer over all our concerns, then we are truly governed by God. We then come under His Lordship.
Perseverance in prayer takes effort.
Perseverance in prayer is to do spiritual battle with distractions and restlessness.
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10: 4, 5
The perseverance of Moses, Aaron and Hur prevailing in prayer Exodus 17:11)
About Judas http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath224/kmath224.htm
Judas and Eternal Security http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/judas.htm
Painting by Giotto : The Kiss of Judas http://www.abcgallery.com/G/giotto/giotto21.html
POEM : The Mills of the Gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine"
Olive Presses and Mills explained (many links , resources) www.oliveoilsource.com/mill_and_press_facts.htm
Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled all the Messianic prophecies
Gethsemane poem http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewPoetry.asp?AuthorID=3214 by Mary Hunt
Richard and Charlene Fairchild's Passion and Easter Pages :
Next ....... The Crucifixion