One thing which I find really beautiful about Holy Week is that we can spend time imagining ourselves there with Jesus, because we know most of what he was doing during this time. To be given an opportunity to imagine ourselves walking with Jesus through the Last Supper, the betrayal, the crucifixion and the resurrection is so special. To be given the instruction, ‘stay here and pray’ is an instruction which we can still be given today. To pray not to be tempted is still a prayer we can pray today. To struggle to be spiritually strong as we are bound by our physical bodies is still something we can do. I can so easily imagine myself there with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane tonight.
Jesus is God incarnate…and yet Jesus prayed to God. When speaking about prayer he said, ‘And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.’ So what is the purpose of prayer? I would say that prayer is a way for people to quieten themselves by focusing on God, and a way to develop their relationship with God. I believe that prayer is a way for us to come humbly to God, who knows all of our weaknesses and to admit to our limitations, our fears or our desires. It is a way for us to be honest with God and for us to listen to the voice of God.
And so tonight we watch and pray, not shying away from the pain that Jesus was about to endure at this point in his final year, but making ourselves vulnerable in his sight just as he made himself vulnerable for us.