COULD YOU NOT TARRY ONE HOUR?
(Or, "What in the world are you doing for Jesus?")
Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and He said, "Sit here while I go over there to pray." He took Peter and Zebedee's two sons, James and John, and He became anguished and distressed. He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me." He went on a little farther and bowed with His face to the ground, praying... Then He returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, "Couldn't you watch with Me even one hour? Keep watch and pray..." (Matt. 26:36-41)
Could you give me 15 uninterrupted minutes of your time - 5 to read these words, and 5 to watch two short youtube videos? I spoke pretty strongly with you this morning. My message was a simple one... Running from the call. It certainly was not my intent to hurt anyone by what I shared, but I do pray that between that, and what I am sharing with you here, none of you will run any more from God's call that He has been sending forth to our fellowship.
If you read carefully the text I selected above, I am sure you will notice something. Jesus called His first disciples to the same thing the scriptures say that He called us too as His church... to watch and pray with Him regarding what He came to this world to do.
Jesus has called us, through Scriptures we have looked at carefully. to precisely what He called those first disciples to in the Garden so long ago. He has called us to watch and pray. He has called us to give Him at least one hour of our lives each week to join with Him and other disciples in prayer for the great concern of His heart... the salvation of the lost.
In the story above, Jesus was carrying great anguish of soul into that Garden. He felt crushing pain over those who are lost - people who had rejected Him and the truth He brought to them - people heading for hell. And Jesus asked His disciples for something in regard to His anguish... Give me one hour. And that request of our Master is one that He has stirred me, as your pastor, to sound out here.
"Could you not tarry with Me one hour," He asked? Could you not give Me just one hour each week - to stand in the gap in intercessory prayer for those who are without God and without hope in your sphere, joining with other brothers and sisters? Jesus had hoped back in the Garden, by having Peter, James and John with Him, He would not have to carry His burden alone. Unfortunately, He had to carry it alone, and, I think regarding so many whom He so loves - who are in the sphere of our lives - He still does.
If you would, please click on the link below. In so doing, you will spend 5 of
the 15 minutes I asked you for. When you are finished, please come back
and join me for a few more minutes.
William Booth was the founder of the Salvation Army at age 50. The vision you just watched is what led him to do begin that work after having labored as a pastor in Great Britain for many years previous. After receiving that vision, as he had been seeking God in prayer, Booth, when most men his age were slowing down to retire, labored more passionately then ever for 33 more years for the salvation of the lost until, at age 83, God took him home.
There's something about learning to touch God's heart in prayer that changes us. As I told you this morning, the first thing that beginning to faithfully pray changes is not others... but us.
With that said, I now want to ask you for your final 5 minutes. On my way home today, I listened to a song I had not heard in a long time. It will drive home everything has been shared so far.
In conclusion, here are six practical ways you can answer the call to watch and pray with Jesus one hour (each week) and share His burden. Please choose one, and be faithful. It will change your heart in time to more fully be used of God as you seek Him for the lost, and, also in time, will result in the hearts of people you pray for being touched by the help of the Holy Spirit.
'Til we finish the race,
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (Romans 12:12)