North Highland United Methodist Church
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

April 2009 Column

The Spiritual Discipline of PRAYER
Reflection on Luke 23:39-46 (NRSV)
It was the custom (habit) of Jesus to go to the Mount of Olives to pray. He asked his disciples to also pray that they would not come into the time of trial . . . That they would not be tempted. Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.”
An angel came to Jesus to offer him strength in his anguish. Jesus prayed even more earnestly. Even though he was only a stone’s throw from the disciples, when he rose from praying, he found the disciples had fallen asleep. I always thought Jesus asked them why they couldn’t stay awake with him for only this one hour. However, I could not find those words. Rather Jesus asked them WHY are you sleeping. He knew the answer which is written. They were filled with grief.
Jesus told them to get up and pray. A command.
This Lenten Season reminds us of our own seasons of grief and anguish. In prayer we are often met with a mysterious presence who gives us strength. An angel? The Holy Spirit? When we pray we know God is with us.
Easter reminds us of the “something more” that follows the crucifixion. Jesus is alive. It’s the Good News. Still, I hear Jesus, “Get up and pray . . .”
Peace, Sheila
Pastor Emeritus