“Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give into temptation. For the Spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
In the deepest hours of the night, Jesus surrounded himself with his beloved followers, one of which was Peter, the Rock. Trouble and distress flooded his soul. In the midst of great danger and trouble lurking in the moments ahead, prayer was the solitary and essential option. In his plea to God to allow this appalling hour to pass, Jesus called to his closest friends to sustain him in prayer. Yet, in the midst of chaos and horror, tribulation and evil, Peter, the Rock, slumbered.
“Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch with me even one hour?”
I’ve often pondered why Jesus called him Simon, as opposed to his new name, Peter, the Rock. I wonder if, at this moment, Peter was not living up to his name and, therefore, Jesus reverted to his old name. Yet, the next few words haunt me and cause me to speculate about my own life.
“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”
Wow. Jesus spoke these words to Peter, the Rock, moments before his infamous denial experience. Yet, another thought invades my mind…I wonder if Peter, the Rock, had been alert and in prayer, would he have denied his Savior in the midst of complete chaos and confusion…or would he had stood firm in his commitment to Jesus? Just a thought….definitely something in which to ponder.
And then, another nudge from the Holy Spirit…
“For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
How many times have I crawled into my cozy bed at night, with wonderful and great intentions of waking before the dawn to pray, only to sleep away the minutes, all the while hitting snooze over and over again? With every passing minute and every screaming snooze alert, my time with Jesus dwindles. Time designated for prayer, a necessity to face the day of temptation, fades as quickly as the stars with the rising sun.
So, my heart hears. In order to be a rock, I must be awake…and alert. Prayer is indispensable, even when my body feels feeble and weary. Morning…noon…night…I must keep watch for the enemy is ready to shatter the rocks to pieces.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.”
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.”
1 Peter 5:7-9