Praying


old olive trees in Gethsemane
After Jesus' last meal with his friends he went out to the Mount of Olives, followed by his disciples. At the foot of the Mount of Olives is a garden - 'Gethsemane' (oil-press). There Jesus withdrew about a stone's throw from his disciples to pray alone. He was in anguish, anticipating the suffering to come.


His prayer is a model of simple trust with honest request. He tells his heavenly Father what he really wants - to be spared the cup of suffering. At the same time he affirms his commitment that God's will be done. Here is Luke's version of his prayer:


"Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me;
yet, not my will but yours be done."
Luke 22: 42


I visited Gethsemane last October and was very moved by a prayer written in response to Jesus' prayer and engraved on a stone plaque:
"O Jesus, in deepest night and agony you spoke these words of trust and surrender to God the Father in Gethsemane. In love and gratitude I want to say in times of fear and distress, 'My Father, I do not understand You, but I trust You." (MB)





This post is the 42nd in a daily Lenten series based on a Bible reading from the common worship Lectionary of the Church of England. This one is based on Luke 22: 39 - 53.


Photos: my own

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