Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Keep Watch With Me!

Matthew 26:38

Then he said to them, My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.

RayMcDThe Cubs won the World Series in baseball. It has been a long time since that was last typed. This ended a 108-year drought – a period longer than any other Major League Baseball team.

There are Cub fans that haven’t experienced a winning season very often much less winning the title. Yet many Cub fans are diehard fans – win or lose (and they often lost) – they supported their team. Around here the Orioles went 14 seasons without having a winning season and many fans departed and haven’t come back – even though they have started to win again and have been to the playoffs recently. The Nationals have been favorites before the season a few times to win the World Series (on paper) and when they didn’t achieve those lofty goals – some fans departed. Let’s not get started on the Redskins or the Ravens around here or Maryland Football/Basketball.

At times – things won’t go our way. At times – things will actually go wrong. How will we deal with the tough times? Will we stay strong – win or lose? Will we follow the cause – no matter what happens? Will we run the race and fight the fight? Will we stay the course?

In today’s scripture Jesus asked His disciples – His followers – to stay with Him – to pray with Him. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Matthew 26:36–46 – 36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Jesus was facing a tough time. He asked His fans – His followers – His disciples – to stay with Him during this tough time. Instead of staying with Him – keeping Him in their prayers – they fell asleep – time and again.

Sunday I’m going to call our church to a season of fasting. On Mondays through the end of the year – from breakfast until we eat our last meal of the day – I’m going to challenge the church to fast (if for medical reasons you cannot fast – please join us in prayer periodically through the day). As we go without eating (maybe 8 hours or more) – every time we get hungry – I’m going to ask the congregation to pray. We have two men and one woman in the church and others as well who are facing battles for their lives. We will target them in our prayers – praying for Bob – for Dave – and for Bobbi. We can pray for others as well. We will pray for God’s peace – for God’s healing – for God’s provision for them and their families. We will think about them and pray for them on Mondays (other days as well) between breakfast and supper – whenever we get hungry. I pray you will take up this challenge and experience this prayer/fast.

I pray others will join us. Prayer and fasting is a gift from God and a challenge to His followers. Let us set our eyes on Jesus and strive to follow His example and stay the course – as He asks us to keep watch with Me. (More details on Sunday.)

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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November 4, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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