Read: John 18:1-40, Matthew 26:36-46
In Beth Moore’s study called, A Heart Like His, she teaches about a place of “further still.” This place is not just a quiet time or a regular time of prayer. It is when you need intensive care of the soul. It is where you go when you are overwhelmed. It is a place to settle serious matters with God. It is a place where change can emerge.
After Jesus had prayed in John 17, He took His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane and prayed some more. This was His place of “further still”. Jesus prays to submit Himself to the will of the Father. With His sweat like drops of blood, He prays, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
According to Mark’s Gospel, Jesus asks Peter, James, and John to pray with Him.
Jesus gets up from His struggle in prayer and finds the disciples asleep. He asks them, “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” Then Jesus directs Peter, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
After Jesus wrestles in prayer for hours, He is ready for what lies ahead. Judas betrays Jesus in the Garden with six hundred soldiers. The soldiers asked if He is Jesus of Nazareth, and He replied with, “I AM,” and they all fell back. Peter acts bravely and cuts off the ear of a servant. Jesus rebukes Him with, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” And this was only the beginning of the long night ahead.
Jesus is arrested, mistreated, beaten, and questioned by many. The High Priest questions Jesus, and He seems rude in His response. But rather than rude, Jesus is establishing how corrupt the trial is. When Jesus is questioned about His teachings, He tells the High Priest to ask those who heard Him teach about Him. Jesus is establishing that this trial has no witnesses, and this is only the beginning of the injustices. Chuck Swindoll, in his commentary on John, records eighteen different injustices where they broke their own laws in the trials of Jesus. But in the face of incredible injustices, Jesus is resolved to accept humbly what comes His way.
This chapter includes the story of Peter, the bold disciple, denying Jesus three times. Every time Jesus is questioned during His trials, He seems to answer with I AM. Every time Peter answered the questions about whether or not he is a disciple of Jesus, he seems to answer with I AM NOT.
I can’t help but make the connection that Jesus told Peter to pray, but he slept instead. When the moment came for Peter to have great resolve, he crumbled under the pressure.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a powerhouse of peace and resolve. Peter’s answers to the questions could have been life threatening. I am not saying that I would not have crumbled under that pressure.
To be quite frank, I don’t do all that well with daily pressure. Give me a deadline that is pressing on me, I will show you some stress. If someone is mad at me, that is enough to wear me slap out. If I have a child who is struggling, I am going to wear that like a heavy coat.
But I do believe in prayer. I believe mighty things can happen when we submit everything from the ordinary to the life threatening. I believe God uses prayer to change things, and I know He uses prayer to change me.
I am going to spend some time in prayer talking to God about my lack of peace and where I need resolve. Where do you need resolve? What do you need to settle with God?
In your Going Deeper Participant Guide, let’s look at Day 18 beginning on page 39. Complete Look at the Details and Personal Application sections. Then come back here and share your answer to the following discussion question in the comment section below. (You can find the comment section at the bottom of this message. Just scroll down and you’ll see the words “Post a Comment.” Click there and share your responses.) Or, join the conversation on our Facebook Community Group.
"Have you ever poured out your heart to God in prayer and felt that you came away from that experience with a new sense of resolve? Can you share your story with us?"
I will be posting my responses in the comment section and on Facebook too, so I hope to see you there!
Thanks for going on this journey together! #undividedwomen