“As was His custom …” (Luke 22:39 NASB).
There are many things that have become habitual to us. If you think about your morning routine, you will discover that you usually do the exact same thing in the same way each day. Such habits are always developed by a devotion to something we consider valuable—something important to our day.
It would be important, then, to understand what the Perfect Man’s habits were. It would make sense that His routines were exactly as ours should be. And, as you study the life of Jesus, one habit stands out above all the rest.
And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. When He arrived at 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 began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you many not enter into temptation” (Luke 22:39-46).
Jesus’ habit was to retire to His place of prayer and pray. When the disciples were sorrowful, they slept; when Jesus was sorrowful, He prayed. To Him, prayer was the foundation and the pathway of life and ministry. It was not secondary. How else could He find and do His Father’s will if He was not in communion with heaven?
Praying About Temptation
Twice, Jesus told His disciples that the antidote for temptation was prayer. We are all going to be tempted; but if you do not want to “enter into” temptation, you must pray. Prayer will open your eyes to see temptation for what it is—a diabolical design to destroy you and abort God’s kingdom. And prayer will give you the divine strength to overcome it when it comes.
Praying About Service
Jesus’ habit also illustrated the perfect posture we must assume when we are asked by God to take a hard path … a path that calls for great submission to the Father’s will.
We must pray.
Jesus shows us it is perfectly legitimate to ask God to remove us from such trials, but also that they should be approached with a predisposition of surrender. This all occurred for Jesus when He was talking to the One who knew Him best and loved Him most. The One whose will is good, acceptable, and perfect.
Notice that when Jesus prayed, God dispatched an angel from heaven to give Him the strength He needed to face the mission ahead. Will He not do the same for us, giving us the empowerment for every task He assigns … if we pray?
Prepared in Prayer
Jesus “rose from prayer” and went straight toward the task. His disciples were not prepared for what was to come, but Christ was. Why? He had prayed, “as was His custom.”
We will face much today. Temptations will come our way. Opportunities for ministry will be all around us. Divine strength will be desperately needed. It will be our custom of prayer that will prepare us for every challenge and opportunity.
Will we be ready?
Pray It In: Would you ask God to begin to awaken you for prayer every morning, and to give you such an understanding of the value of this time that you will quickly cooperate with Him whenever He calls you to communion with Him? Would you ask Him to help you develop a new habit in prayer?
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