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Jesus’ Prayer in the Garden
by Clifford Tate 
03/27/13
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Matthew 26:36-44 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. NKJV

Perhaps from His first cry coming out of Mary’s womb He always knew this hour would come and yet we see His Humanity in conflict with His Divinity prior to His most great, gracious, and glorious sacrifice for us undeserving sinners. He no doubt reflected back in His mind to the most innocent of days before He turned 30 years old when He lived in obscurity to the world at large and was known only as Joseph’s son. The time He spent with His brothers and sisters in the flesh doing the things all Jewish children did during those days, but He was so obviously different for even during His terrible twos, and middle school days, and as a Handsome strapping teenager catching all the girls eyes, He was completely without sin in word, thought, and action. He knew this was what He had ordained before the foundation of the world, and yet there is a moment (though it was ever so brief) of shrieking back from that cross and the separation from His Father as humanities sins are placed upon His clean, pure, spotless, and sinless soul. He did not just wear man’s sin like an overcoat; He drank every filthy sin imaginable and took them into Himself that they might be destroyed forever. Therefore, He had been seeing glimpses and snapshots of the cross perhaps during various times of His earthly 331/2 years before the reality manifested.

Now let me delve into this time our Lord spent in great agony and with Your help Dear Holy Spirit despite the limits upon my finite mind, that I and all might gain some deeper understanding of what our Lord was experiencing and what He is teaching us from these passages. First as our Lord so commonly did (as with His Transfiguration) He took Peter, John, and James with Him and said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” Although our Lord had begun to already anticipate the extreme heaviness of sins burden before the throne room of the Father and so doing His heart was grieved, He gave His disciples an opportunity to pray for Him. Verse 39 says, “He went a little farther and fell on His face.” The weight of the sins He would have to carry were so heavy even then that He could not go further before He had to cry out to the Father and plead that it would be some other way to save these people from their sin.

How could He take and ingest lust, pride, greed, rape, murder, witchcraft, theft, hatred, fornication, pornography, sodomy, pedophilia, bitterness, slander, and the list is endless and actually become these things when He is so pure that He cannot even look upon them. In Verse 41 our Lord goes to the disciples and finds them asleep. He was somewhat angry (this was concerned anger as a Father for a son) with them because He is right at that moment doing battle with the devil as He is in prayer. Our Lord knows that Peter, James, and John then as well as us today need to be spoken to in this manner. He wanted them and us to see the urgent need to be watchful, vigilant, and sober in prayer to God the Father because our adversary the devil is always going about seeking someone to devour.

Perhaps our Lord wanted to so drive home this point clearly and powerfully right at that very moment after He (the King of all Kings and the Lord of all Lords) shrieked back in His own flesh from what He knew He must do before He ever spoke anything in the Universe into existence and this is why He said to them, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Let us never forget that He mostly referred to Himself as “The Son of Man” always wanting to identify with those who will receive Him on the level of our humanity. Seeing them lying there they looked so weak, vulnerable, and ready prey for the enemy of their souls that He is in present conflict with and so the writer of Hebrews probably captures this exact moment precisely with these words.

Hebrews 2:14-18 Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might bring to nought {and} make of no effect him who had the power of death--that is, the devil--And also that He might deliver {and} completely set free all those who through the [haunting] fear of death were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives. For, as we all know, He [Christ] did not take hold of angels [the fallen angels, to give them a helping and delivering hand], but He did take hold of [the fallen] descendants of Abraham [to reach out to them a helping and delivering hand]. So it is evident that it was essential that He be made like His brethren in every respect, in order that He might become a merciful (sympathetic) and faithful High Priest in the things related to God, to make atonement {and} propitiation for the people’s sins. For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted {and} tested {and} tried [and who therefore are being exposed to suffering]. QAB

Finally, in verses 42-44 we see our very own mighty Lord Jesus going back to God the Father three times and the Scripture in verse 44 says, “He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.” I mean this is unbelievable and wonderful all at the same time. The One who knows what we will say or do before it is done as the Scripture says, “He knows our thoughts afar off” knew the answer already so why go back and pray the same words. This was for His comfort and more importantly for our learning although Peter, James, and John did not get it then because they remained sleep then every time, but we see all through the Book of Acts their persistence in prayer. During many discourses He taught the disciples to be persistent in prayer through parables and by His example of retreating to the mountains often alone to talk to God the Father. This record of His praying the exact same words three times crushes and destroys the falsehood of praying for something one time and then by faith believing it to be done. We are to learn from this act from our Lord Jesus Christ that we are to pray every day for the salvation of the soul of someone and for other things as God the Holy Spirit moves us to pray until the answer is given, even if we never see it before our death in the body. This is a most glorious truth to me Dear Heavenly Father, Dear Lord Jesus, and Dear Holy Spirit.

Dear Heavenly Father, I am but weak but You are exceedingly strong and You know the petitions I have brought before Your Throne for many years now without seeing any visible evidence of salvation having been wrought in the souls I am praying for, but by the grace (Divine influence upon my heart) You give to me Your son Clifford D. Tate, Sr. I will persist in saying the same words to You until they are born again or until You call me Your son home into Your bosom in Jesus Name Amen!!!

“If I am perturbed by the reproach and misunderstanding that may follow action taken for the good of souls for whom I must give account; if I cannot commit the matter and go on in peace and in silence, remembering Gethsemane and the cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” Amy Carmichael 1867-1951

“Look at Him at Gethsemane, sweating as it were great drops of blood; look at Him on the cross, crucified between two thieves; hear that piercing cry, “Father, Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” And as you look into that face, as you look into those wounds on His feet or His hands, will you say He has not the power to save you? Will you say He has not the power so to redeem you?” D. L. Moody 1837-1899

“Methinks every true Christian should be exceedingly earnest in prayer concerning the souls of the ungodly; and when they are so, how abundantly God blesses them and how the church prospers!” “It is the burning lava of the soul that has a furnace within---a very volcano of grief and sorrow--it is that burning lava of prayer that finds its way to God. No prayer ever reaches God’s heart which does not come from our hearts.” Charles Spurgeon 1834-1892

“In Gethsemane the holiest of all petitioners prayed three times that a certain cup might pass from Him. It did not. After that the idea that prayer is recommended to us as a sort of infallible gimmick may be dismissed.” C. S. Lewis 1898-1963

“Many people believe the word flesh is referring to our physical bodies. In many cases in the Bible when the Lord refers to the flesh He is speaking of the physical body of man. For example, when the prophet Isaiah said that “all flesh is as grass” and Peter quoted the verse in the New Testament, both were referring to our physical bodies. In Matthew 26:41, however, the Lord Jesus is referring to our frail and corrupt human condition resulting from the fall of Adam. Christ created every part of us and understands the weakness of our unregenerate human nature and the carnal desires of our flesh. He has allowed a remnant of our corrupt nature—the flesh—to remain with us until we see Him face to face. Plainly He wants us to overcome our flesh and He has given us first the Spirit and then His Word to accomplish this.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr. 1961-? This quote taken from the Book My Lord wrote through me “Silent Assassins of the Soul”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...


Sincerely in Christ,


Clifford D. Tate, Sr.

Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…




If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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