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‘And being in agony, He prayed the more earnestly’ Luke 22:44

Luke 22 contains the account of the last few hours before Jesus was arrested, on a journey that led to His crucifixion. I believe that given Jesus’ testimony that He always pleases His Father, His handling of that most pressured season of His life is a guide on how we, who are called to live His life and to do His work, can handle ourselves under pressure in a way that would also please the Father.

Matthew 26:37 says of Jesus at this time that:

‘He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed’

and in the next verse Jesus declared:

‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death’

Distressed and exceedingly sorrowful, He prays.

Taking a break from prayer, He checks up on His disciples and finds them sleeping. He returns to prayer and Luke 24:44 states:

‘And being in agony, He prayed the more earnestly’

But of His disciples, scriptures state:

‘He found them sleeping from sorrow’.

These I believe represents two different ways of handling ourselves in times of distress or agony.

Jesus prayed the more earnestly; the disciples slept from sorrow.

Jesus is our example. Romans 8:29 states that the will of God is that we should be conformed to the image of His Son. 1 Peter 2:21 states that we are called that we might follow in his steps.

Sometimes, we get so overwhelmed with a distressing situation that just like the disciples we enter a ‘sleeping’ mode. We switch our minds off it. We ignore it hoping it will go away or resolve itself. While ‘letting go’ does have its benefits, nevertheless we must not let go to the point where we are not even praying about the source of the distress.

1 John 2:6 teaches that if we truly abide in Him, then we ought to walk in the same way in which He walked. This means, the greater the agony, the more earnestly we should pray.

A simple and sincere cry of a heart focused on God can accomplish much. ‘Father, help me’; ‘Father, arise and come to my rescue’; Father, deliver me from my distress’; ‘Holy Spirit, help me’; ‘Lord, strengthen me’; ‘Father, make a way of escape for me out of this distress’ would all suffice.

The only requirement is that it is said earnestly.

The enemy thrives when we ‘sleep’. He wants us so intimated and overwhelmed that we are not able to arise and challenge the forces behind the distress. But the Lord wants us strong and we know that we can do all things through Christ!

I pray for you that from today no satanic harassment or intimidation would have any effect on you in Jesus’ name. I arrest every satanic projections, fiery darts, arrows, witchcraft activities and soullish prayers programmed to weaken or paralyse your spiritual life in Jesus name.

Never forget that you are born of God and you overcome the world!

Shalom!

Chi Onwuchekwa

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