If you are anything like me, you struggle with discouragement. I’ve been caught in the cycle of discouragement, to depression, to hopelessness, to despair – but somehow – each time – the Lord sends help. Today, I pray that we will peak into Jesus’ response to a time of deep unrest and find that lifting hope that rescues and resets.
“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.” When He got there, He told them to, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He did what He always did. He prayed. When He broke bread with His disciples – He prayed. When He had preached a sermon that drew huge crowds – He prayed. When He was facing death, a death He asked His heavenly father to do some other way – He prayed. (Luke 22:39 – 53)
He withdrew to the lonely discipline that brought Him into alignment with the will of the Father. He spoke those words in desperation that we echo when our hearts don’t understand the way God is unfolding His plan, “If You are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” When He prayed this prayer an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened Him. He received angelic encouragement, but He was still in anguish and His response: pray more earnestly.
Today you may be in the middle of a crisis or stuck in the doldrums of life. You may have been betrayed by a loved one or surrounded by people, not knowing where you truly stand in their hearts. You may have been left isolated by friends or lost in a crowd. You may have more bills than money or more money, more problems. You may be at a crossroad in your life and have no idea how this is going to turn out or may have a plan that needs to be thrown out. Perhaps you are battling an addiction and you have tried so many times but end up failing, surrounded in shame and disappointment. Maybe your mind is racing. Your heart is pounding. Maybe you feel like your life is in shambles and you feel the weight of the very next breath is enough to crush you. Anguish. Enough Anguish to make the sweat turn into to blood. The kind of anguish that made Jesus, the Savior of the world, awaken his sleeping friends to tell them, “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
If you are scared, nervous, hopeless, anxious, discontent, worried, despairing, knocked down by the emotions of the crisis in your life – Jesus is encouraging you with these words, “Get up and pray!” He knows the full range of emotions, the backstabbing, the persecution, the bitterness, the hurt and in this moment when the death of our sin was getting ready to wage war on the everlasting life inside of Him – He thought of us. He instructed us. WAKE UP from the hopelessness and pray. GET UP from the depression and pray. DON’T FALL into the temptation, but step into the discipline of prayer. Make it your habit. Make it your haven. Make it your lifestyle. Make it your hope.
And when you’ve prayed until the tears run out and your breathing is labored – step into His hope. Hand over your will. Open your heart and receive God’s will. No matter what the next blow is. It may knock you down, but it won’t take you out. Pray. Pray in plenty. Pray in want. Pray in joy. Pray in sorrow. Pray in times of crisis, in times of feasting, in times of pain, in times of turmoil and in times of peace.
Then wake up a sleeping soul and invite them to pray with you.
Have you fallen into the temptation of hopelessness?
Is prayer truly a discipline in your life?
Ask Jesus to teach you how to pray in all seasons.
Tesha Fritz is a believer in winning ways. As a wife, mother, friend and family member she has learned to lean toward victory when defeat seems certain. She has been published in national publications, such as Proverbs 31 magazine, presented at national and local conference and facilitates small groups for women who want to see God’s best in their lives.
Tesha is the wife of Tony and mother to two precious children ages 9 and 10. She loves coaching people to see their dreams come true. She is in the struggle right with you.
Connect with Tesha at www.imagineyourvictory.com or @TeshaFritz on social media.