My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Matthew 26:38 NIV
It was a rough morning. A very rough morning. I mean, an extremely intense, hard, rough morning.
Did I mention it was a rough morning?
Even though I was driving the kids to school as usual, I couldn’t get into the routine of our day. We passed familiar landmarks, sat at the same old stop lights and even passed the same families on their way to school. But my anger and frustration kept me focused on myself.
Then we got to the “prayer house”. It’s the stone house on the way to school signaling it’s time to pray for our day.
I did NOT feel like praying! Remember it was a rough morning. Why should I pray when I didn’t feel like it?
We did eventually pray, my heart softened and my day improved. But I started thinking about what Jesus did when He didn’t feel like praying. Wasn’t there a time when He felt burdened and His soul was heavy?
There was such a time and it was more than just a rough morning or a bad day. Jesus knew He was about to be crucified so His heart was unimaginably burdened for us. He needed to get away and talk to His Heavenly Father. He’d just been betrayed by Judas and Jesus knew that Peter was going to deny ever having known Him. Things were looking bleak and the environment was becoming hostile towards Him and His ministry.
So He stepped away. He put some distance between himself and the people He’d been hanging out with and He prayed. He poured out His human and His heavenly heart to God the Father. The people with Jesus weren’t mean, but they weren’t who He needed to surround Himself with during a time of being burdened and spiritually stressed. He needed God. Friends and family are fine, but alone time with God is absolutely necessary to bring our heavy, hurting hearts back into balance.
His friends couldn’t even stay awake long enough to support Him. Twice Jesus asked His disciples to just sit nearby and pray. They couldn’t even keep their eyes open!
Aren’t there days when it seems like no one is there for you? We feel alone, isolated and like we’re completely on our own. But this Scripture shows us the way to pray when we feel we are overwhelmed and drowning. Jesus exemplified exactly how we should deal with high emotions when we’re at the end of ourselves by saying, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Matthew 26:38 NIV. He was honest. Then He went to His Heavenly Father in prayer.
Jesus was truthful with God and said, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39 NIV. He leveled with God, even though God knew His heart, and asked that He not have to go to the cross and be crucified.
Days will be hard. We will fall short of the expectations we place on ourselves and the ones we imagine others have for us. But God is there and He sees our potential. He wants our best even on our worst days.
On a bad day (and we all have them!) it hard to feel close to God and it’s definitely hard to want to pray. Try and just get still. Be quiet and listen instead of talk. God doesn’t need our words in order to work. His words have power to form the earth. So we can just be still and listen to Him.
Heavenly Father, My prayer today is “help”. Help me as I struggle with strong emotions, hard feelings, angry words and big moments that seem to be pushing me around. Please speak over me just as You spoke over the earth with power. I believe You call all things into being and I ask that You would please help me to be who You want be to be. Still my frantic heart as I am having a hard day and remind me that You are in control. Thank You God that I can place all my worries into Your capable hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!