Prayer and Praise – Even on Good Friday

He came out, and went, as his custom was, to the Mount of Olives. His disciples also followed him. When he was at the place, he said to them, “Pray that you don’t enter into temptation.”

He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and he knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

An angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him. Being in agony he prayed more earnestly. His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.                                           Luke 22:39-44 (WEB)

Jesus went to the garden to pray. He did that a lot. He sought out a quiet place and He prayed. Jesus had developed a habit of prayer and on the most stressful night of His life, He followed the habit.

God brought me in and saturated me with prayer and study before my life entered into ten years of one crisis after another. I am so very grateful that before I knew what I needed, God put it into motion.

Jesus went into the garden with the eleven. He withdrew a ways with the three and then walked further away so that it was just Him and the Father. Corporate prayer is important. It is a time to stand together and state in agreement our needs and our belief in God’s promises. It is to be a time of encouragement. But when I need to bare myself and cry out to my Father in fear, despair, and total weakness – then it is time to be alone with the Father. It is intimate and personal.

Jesus gives me the look into how open I can be with the Father. He shows me how I can never out-give the Father. When Jesus cried out and sweated blood, God sent angels to be a tangible presence. God did not change His mind on the plan. He did not say, “OK. You don’t have to do this.” But He also did give Jesus what He needed to complete the ‘race’ He had been given.

I can believe that God will do the same for me. I have been in the garden. I have carried the cross I have been given. Because of the Father’s great love, I have always felt the angels He has sent to walk with me every step. When I have felt alone, I was not. When I turned away, Jesus was still there. I can never out-give the Father. (It’s worth repeating!)

Good Friday is usually very solemn and dark. It is sobering to think about the sacrifices that Jesus made to set me free. But may I also temper the solemnity with praise and thanksgiving. I know that even in the darkness of Friday – Sunday is already there!

Praise Yahweh!
Praise God in his sanctuary!
Praise him in his heavens for his acts of power!
Praise him for his mighty acts!
Praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet!
Praise him with harp and lyre!
Praise him with tambourine and dancing!
Praise him with stringed instruments and flute!
Praise him with loud cymbals!
Praise him with resounding cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise Yahweh!
Praise Yahweh!                                               Psalm 150 (WEB)
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