April 20 PDF Print E-mail
"And being in an agony, he prayed move earnestly." — Luke 22:44.

And what must this agony have been, when it is added, that "his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground!" What, my soul, could have caused this?

"Oh, what wonders love has done!
But how little understood!
God well knew, and God alone,
What produced that sweat of blood.
Who can thy deep wonders see,
Wonderful Gethsemane?"

But let us now observe his deportment. For we are not only to view him in his passion as our Mediator, but as also suffering for us, to leave us an example that we should follow his steps. "In his agony, he prayed more earnestly." Not that he was cold and formal before in his devotions: but as the hour and power of darkness advanced, and he began to be sore amazed and very heavy and his soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; there was more excitement in his feelings and vehemency in his manner of expression. Now were the days of his flesh, in which, with strong cryings and tears, he made supplications to Him, who was able to save him from death. So it is to be with us. Prayer is never out of season. We see this in the life of Jesus. On what occasion did he not pray? But there is a time when it is specially seasonable. Therefore says God, "Call upon me in the day of trouble." "Is any afflicted? Let him pray." Prayer is the design, the refuge, the solace, the improvement of affliction; and the greater the distress and anguish we are in, the more necessary will it be, both for our sanctification and support. Let us, therefore, be the more importunate. In the greatness of our distress,
     Let us not, like Adam and Eve, flee, and endeavour to hide ourselves from God, but pray.
     Let us not, like Cain, begin to build, and try, by worldly projects, to dissipate our grief, but pray.
     Let us not, like Jonah, fret under the loss of our gourds, and tell God himself, that we do well to be angry, even unto death but pray.
     Let us not, like Ephraim and Judah, repair to creatures: "When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wounds, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb; yet could he not heal them, or cure them of their wound" — but pray.
     Let us not, like Saul, who went to the Witch of Endor, repair to the Devil himself, by error, drunkenness, and sin, but pray.
     Let us not, like Ahithophel and Judas, have recourse to suicide, and plunge into hell, for relief, but pray.

Let us say, with the Church, "Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up;" or, with Job, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

"I seem forsaken and alone,
I hear the lions roar,
And every door is shut, but one,
And that is Mercy's door.

There, till the dear Deliverer comes,
I'll wait, with humble prayer;
And, when he calls his exile home,
The Lord shall find me there."

Morning Exercises For Everyday In The Year
By Rev. William Jay

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