Luke 22:39-45, “39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. …41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,…”
The Gospel according to Luke chronicles the ministry of Jesus fueled by His prayer life. Matthew mentions pray (prayer, prayed, praying) at least 19 times, Mark 13 times, John 8 times but Luke 27 times (in the book of Acts by Luke 32 times). Of the 161 mentions of prayers in the NT, 36% (59) times are mentioned by Luke either in reference to Jesus or the apostles. I believe Luke wanted us to see how effective, fervent, consistent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
I find it interesting that both Matthew and Mark note in the above passage that Jesus came to the garden of Gethsemane to pray, Luke adds the word “accustomed”. Luke lets us know that this was a frequent place Jesus came to pray. This was a regular pattern as Luke notes when he highlights significant times Jesus prayed at baptism, Luke 3:21, before He appointed the disciples, Luke 6:12, on the mount of transfiguration, Luke 9:18-29, as the disciples found Him praying and asked Him to teach them to pray, Luke 11.
To have the mind of Christ, imitate Him and be conformed to His image, we must learn what He considered priority and be drawn to that. Prayer was His life, when they turned temple into a business place, He turned the tables and reminded those who were there that His house was a house of prayer.
On the day of His betrayal, under pressure, in agony, travailing, in anguish, He still prayed as He was accustomed to. Nothing deterred Him in good times or in bad times. Even as the disciples who should have stood with Him to pray fell asleep after He warned them to watch and pray, they were not burdened as He was. Their state did not discourage Him from praying. Jesus would face the temptation of forfeiting the cross, yet He prayed earnestly, consistently for the will of God to be done. The bible then says angels who are made lower than Him came and ministered to Him.
As the disciples walked with Jesus, having seen and experienced what it meant to have a consistent prayer life, they learnt a valuable lesson. And while they slept and fell into temptation, they would not repeat the same once the commission was given and empowered by the Holy Spirit. They did not even think that now that they were filled with the Holy Spirit they should not pray. If anything that fueled them to pray earnestly and we see that consistency throughout the book of Acts. Acts 2:42 “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers, Acts 6:4, “but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Read the accounts of Peter in Acts, he was praying everywhere.
Prayers calls for persistence and consistence. When we work we work, when we pray God works “For bodily exercise profits a little…”, 1Timothy 4:8, BUT “…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”, James 5:16. One profits a little, the other avails much.
A man driving His family to a destination must stay awake, alert and effective on the wheels. The moment he falls asleep, he has exposed both himself and his family to danger. This is the tragedy of not being steadfast, sober and vigilant as biblical men in prayers. The enemy takes advantage of that and we must not fall asleep on the prayer wheel. 1Timothy 2:8, “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;”. On our own again we can’t, that is why we must come to the Lord everyday and say, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”, Luke 11:1. Blessings Ev