So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
She had walked in the world for a long time before coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In those decades, she had developed some really close friendships with people just as lost as she was. After her transformation, she lost touch with one friend in particular because their values no longer matched up. She would think of her friend often, and she would consider calling her, but each time she would put it off until another day. Then, she received the news that her lost friend had become a victim of the dangerous lifestyle she once lived. She would never know whether anyone was able to reach her friend with the Gospel message in time.
The disciples had a very narrow window of time in which they could share this special moment with their Lord. He was preparing to leave them, and his anguish at the prospect of what lay ahead was severe. He needed their support in prayer as He prepared to offer the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the world. Yet, they let their tiredness get the better of them, and they left their Lord to suffer alone. They would never get back the opportunity to share that moment with him. They would never again be able to prop him up in prayer as a fellowship. So many of us wish we could have been there in that moment to pray for our Lord in his time of need, but the ones who were there simply could not.
We are fools if we think that there will be another day or even another hour to complete God’s work. We never know when our time will come, but we know that there is work for us to do always. When it is the middle of the night, and you cannot sleep, and an old friend pops into your mind, pray. Look beyond what seems to be a chance event to discover the opportunity God is giving you. The sick person you could pray for today might not be here tomorrow. This is not merely about prayer but about all the work God has for us. We should not put off until tomorrow what can be done for him today. Father, remind us of the urgency of your work, that we would not waste our time waiting to get started.