Hour of Power

In Markhourglass 14:32-42, Jesus gives eight of His disciples instruction to sit “here” while He prays at a place called Gethsemane. He takes Peter, James, and John further in, tells them he is very sorrowful and gives instruction for them to pray and stay awake. Jesus then goes a “stone’s throw away,” (Luke’s Gospel says) falls to the ground and prays. Jesus then checks back with them three different times and each time they are asleep! Jesus asked them “Are you asleep? Could you not watch with me for one hour?” “Hour” is used not only in this question (vs. 37) but also in vs. 35, when Jesus was petitioning the Father that the “hour” might pass from Him and then again in vs. 41, when He sees Judas approaching and says that the “hour” is at hand. “Hour” here does not mean 60 min. but rather an appointed time; twice spoken of as appointed by the Father (concerning Jesus) and once by Jesus (appointing the disciples to pray).

It is easy to just view the disciples as a bunch of colossal goofs that are insensitive and selfish, sleeping while their Master is agony and travailing in prayer. But Luke 22:45 gives us a different view of what is motivating the disciples: “He found them exhausted from sorrow.” Jesus knew their condition! He knew that they just ate the Passover Supper that it was late at night, and they were exhausted and sorrowful as well. Sleepiness is even a symptom of grief. BUT, he still appointed them to prayer for that “hour.” Jesus told them to pray so that they would not enter into temptation. He knew what was ahead for Himself, but also fully well what was ahead for them “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered” (earlier in vs. 27). Christ Jesus had such deep concern for them that he checked on them three times.

It says in 2 Samuel 11 that “In the spring when kings go to war” that David stayed home and then was tempted with Bathsheba and fell. It would seem that David had an appointment that he did not keep and temptation was at the doorstep. Likewise, the disciples had an appointed time to pray that they were sleeping through.

I don’t believe that Jesus’ instruction to His disciples to watch and pray was merely telling them the importance of personal prayer or that they needed the discipline of prayer in their lives. I believe that Jesus was calling them to a specific “hour” or span of time in which was to be spent in prayer. I firmly believe that we as a church are being called to an “hour” of prayer. I believe that this is a prophetic call. Are you sleeping spiritually? Please pray with me.