“Then He came and found them sleeping. ‘Simon, are you sleeping?’ He asked Peter. ‘Couldn’t you stay awake one hour?’” (Mark 14:37)
The body can be tyrannical when it needs sleep. Have you ever been on a long road trip and found yourself getting drowsy? The stillness of sitting there and the monotony seems to tell the body to sleep. You may even find yourself dozing off for a few seconds. More than one accident has resulted from this.
Have you also ever noticed that when you pray you may at times find yourself getting a little drowsy? The stillness and the attempt of the mind to stay focused can tell the body to drift off. Unless, of course, you are in crisis. No sleep then.
Jesus was in crisis in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew what was about to happen. The disciples, and in this incident Peter, James, and John were not in crisis. They were with the Messiah. Their understanding of what that meant was that the Messiah was invincible. He was at Jerusalem. He was about to take control and drive out all the infidels. So, no crisis for them. And since they were not in crisis, they were overwhelmed by sleep. But they learned shortly after that that they were, in fact, in crisis, and when that happened, all sleep evaporated. The approaching mob with torches led by Judas took care of that. From that point on, their crisis increased exponentially.
When we are trying to pray or otherwise spend some concentrated time with the Lord and find ourselves growing drowsy, it might help to realize that crisis could be just around the corner.
Lord, We thank You that you understand that the spirit is willing but the flesh weak. Even so, we ask You to help us stay alert when we pray. Amen.