The Prayer of the Grief-Stricken – Mark 14:32-36

gethsemane-image-of-Jesus-praying“Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be deeply distressed and horrified. Then He said to them, ‘My soul is swallowed up in sorrow—to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.’ Then He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, ‘Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will” (Mark 14:32-36, HCSB).

If the Transfiguration revealed Jesus’s divine nature, then Gethsemane revealed His humanity.

A lot of theological interpretations and explanations have been offered for the anguish expressed by Jesus at Gethsemane. Certainly He was about to bear the sins of all humanity–past, present, and future–and it was a horrific proposition!

But I think His grief was simply that–the sorrow you feel when the reality of the life you live is shattered by irreparable loss.

The friendships He had established with His disciples and the fellowship He shared with them as well as their dependence on His leadership was all about to come to a tragic end.

And Jesus knew it and was grieving for it.

I can never know the depth of His sorrow. But as one who is somewhat acquainted with grief, I do recognize the prayer He prayed.

In fact, I know by what He prayed that He was grieving.

If you have ever grieved deeply, you have prayed the prayer that Jesus prayed in Gethsemane. Or at least, prayed something very similar.

It is the prayer of the grief-stricken, of the bereaved, of one who is mourning!

It is the prayer of one asking God to restore what has been lost, to replace what is irreplaceable, to make things like they were.

And, it is a prayer of faith, of surrender, of yielding to God’s will.

“Heavenly Father, you can do what is impossible.  Make my life as it was! Yet, I know that is not the way of this world you have created. Please help me accept my broken reality as your will. And, renew in me an understanding of your plans and purposes for me according to this  new reality. Amen.”

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