Praying at Gethsemane • Devotion #1: The Divine Workout

I own an exercise bike, elliptical runner, rowing machine, dumbbells, and a chin-up stand. However, the toughest part of my workout is the stairs. All my equipment is in the basement. I just need to go downstairs and then I have what I need for a good workout. I just need the motivation to go down the stairs.

I know there are all kinds of workouts. Maybe you have tried Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo videos, Jane Fonda’s Original Workout, a Boot Camp format, Richard Simmons’ Sweatin’ to the Oldies, P90X, Insanity, Zumba, or just going for a brisk walk. I would like to suggest another plan.

The plan I am suggesting is found in Luke 22:39-46, “And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you may not enter into temptation.’ And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.’ And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, ‘Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.’”

Did you catch the workout? It was in verse 44 when Jesus was praying so earnestly that “his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Jesus was praying so intently that He was sweating. His brow did not just feel warm. Sweat was dripping on the ground. It was a workout that would have our tank top drenched. We would fist pump friends while saying with a little pride, “Sorry. Don’t hug me, I’m really sweaty.”

Are we so purposeful, focused, and passionate about prayer that it literally drains us emotionally and physically? I believe when Jesus said “rise and pray,” it was not intended for us to just do a quick, convenient prayer while our mind races all over the place.

Jesus taught and modeled prayer. We are called to times of extended, intensive prayer. Start today – start right now.

“Watch and pray

that you may not enter into temptation.

The spirit indeed is willing,

but the flesh is weak.”

Matthew 26:41

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