July 1, 2020
The Next Language 23 — Could Ye Not Pray?
The story of Jesus in every language.
And He cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with Me one hour? (Matthew 26:40). [All Scripture quotations from The Authorized (King James) Version.]
Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices [shall be] accepted upon mine altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people (Isaiah 56:7).
And He taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves (Mark 11:17).
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come (Matthew 24:14).
In Gethsemane Jesus came back from His intense prayer session and found all the disciples sleeping. Isn’t it interesting that He targeted Peter with the question, “Could ye not watch with me one hour?” Why did He pick on Peter?
I believe that He spoke directly to Peter because just hours before Peter had been so insistent that he would never deny the Lord, that he was willing to die for Jesus. Yet in this crucial hour, the beginning of Jesus’ passion, he fell asleep.
We normally attribute Peter’s betrayal of Jesus to the three denials in the courtyard before the Sanhedrin. But I believe that Jesus’ special attention to Peter after the hour of prayer in the garden was pointing out that the beginning of the betrayal was this surrender to the fleshly desire to sleep and the resulting prayerlessness.
Is this possibly a lesson to us? We are currently waiting to see what the next age will look like. We are locked up to a large degree, unable to go to the unreached languages. We have canceled many strategic events, and even the Mexico training course. Could this be the pause before the end when Jesus is calling us to “watch” with Him? Is He asking us to saturate the heavens with intercessory prayer to break the bonds of darkness? If Jesus, the Creator God, needed to agonize in order to find and accept the Father’s will, imagine how much more we have that same need.
I firmly believe that we as a church picked up the vocational vision God had intended for Israel. It was expressed in the covenant: ”Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth [is] Mine: And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Exodus 19:5-6).
Israel flunked out in their covenant calling and Christ identified His body as the new image designed for those functions. Only in Christ can we become a “holy nation” and a “royal priesthood” for “all the earth.” Only in Christ can we become the structure He intended: the “house of prayer for all people.”
Do we really take seriously our “holy” status and our “priesthood” vocation? What Christ modeled through His prayer life largely exemplified how the royal priesthood works. I know that there is a lot that I do not personally or experientially understand about all of this. Yet I am convinced that in this time of waiting Jesus is wanting to teach us how to exercise our priesthood. If we don’t ask we won’t receive. Even David said, “Ask of me, and I shall give [thee] the heathen [for] thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth [for] thy possession” (Psalm 2:8).
I believe that only through the practice of the priestly functions can we move toward the “holy” status God promises. The more we study this the more it becomes reasonable and instructive that Christ spent so much time in prayer. I believe that today Jesus asks us the same question He asked Peter, “Can you not watch with Me one hour?”
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA
P. S. As a “thank you” for your continued support of the ministry of Global Recordings Network USA, and in celebration of over 80 years of God’s faithfulness, we have compiled a collection of 80 daily devotions written by GRN founder, Joy Ridderhof. You may read or download your copy of Rejoice Always – 80 Devotions with Joy Ridderhof here.