121 Days of Prayer
Simon, Are You Asleep?
The purposes of this prayer are: Resist Temptation, Ability/Success and Salvation.
Everlasting God, Mark recorded the time when Jesus took Peter, James and John with him into the garden of Gethsemane to pray. Jesus had exhorted them to pray for the ability to resist the temptation to fall away when the passion events began. When Jesus returned to them after going farther into the garden to pray by himself, “He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. He came a third time and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.’” Mark 14:37–41 (NRSV). If the apostles had been able to bring Psalm 51 to mind, and to remain awake, they could have prayed the words that the psalmist prayed to you: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:10–12 (NRSV). Gracious Lord, that is our prayer also: do not cast us away from your presence, let not the Holy Spirit depart from us, and sustain in us a willing spirit. We ask in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.