“And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly” – Luke 22:44
I love how in every aspect of the life of Jesus, we see a model of how to do things right. As Jesus faces the ultimate conclusion of His time here on earth, He retreats into the garden of Gethsemane for some time in prayer. How can we even imagine the intensity of what He felt in those moments? And as the intensity of His agony increased, so did the intensity of His prayer.
I face some intense moments. We all do. Although they pale in comparison to what Jesus faced, they are still difficult. Agony comes in a variety of flavors.
If I were to rewrite this verse to refer to myself, it would read something like this:
“and being in great agony, she raised her voice and complained.”
“and being in great agony, she became frustrated and hopeless.”
“and being in great agony, she felt distant from God and didn’t pray.”
“and being in great agony, she felt exceedingly sorry for herself.”
“and being in great agony, she pouted and felt that life had treated her very unfairly.”
I know that in my most difficult moments that I should run to God immediately, but often I don’t do that.
A few moments to wallow in self-pity, a few moments to garner the sympathy of others, a few moments to determine how I’m going to fix things. And the agony only increases and I am no closer to God.
How true are the words of this famous hymn:
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer
Lord, in the various agonies of life, help me to immediately draw near to You.