Teach Us to Pray (Mark 14:32-42)

As Jesus is moments away from arrest, imprisonment, and eventually death by crucifixion, we find him intentionally in a place and attitude of prayer. In this moment of extreme psychological and spiritual distress, Jesus goes back to the foundations of prayer he taught the disciples early in his ministry: 

“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14: 36)

This request of Jesus to align himself with God goes back to the heart of his teaching in what we call “The Lord’s Prayer” which opens with “Our Father in heaven, holy is your name; your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  This kind of prayer was intended to be a part of a daily rhythm of life, and was, no doubt, present in the life of Jesus and his disciples.

Our habit of prayer in the regular and everyday moments of life is the habit of prayer that will present itself in the chaotic and distressing moments of life. Humans are creatures formed by habit –  habits that are shaped over long periods of time. This kind of truth is easy to see in things like addiction recovery, but sometimes harder to see in the area of spirituality. 

Prayer is not a fire alarm we place inside a glass box that says “break in case of emergency,” it’s more like the careful and daily work firefighters do to prepare their trucks, sharpen their skills, condition their bodies, and ready themselves for the call. As you pray this week, remember that you are shaping habits that will ready you for all the moments of your life – whether in the Garden of Gethsemane or on the other side of the empty tomb.

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About the Author
Isaac Gaff is the Managing Director of Worship and Creative Arts at Calvary UMC