“Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.

44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.”
[Matthew 26:36-45]

The time of Jesus’ death had finally arrived and even though He had always known that He was born for this very day, that knowledge made it no easier to face. Verse 38 tells us that Jesus told His 3 disciples that He was about to die from a grieved heart and needed their prayers to help Him find the victory that would enable Him to face this horrific hour in which He, the sinless Son of God, would take upon Himself every sin, of every person, of the past, of the present and of the future. Not only would He take all of our sin upon Himself, He would also take the wrath of God upon Himself, the punishment every lost sinner deserved.

Twice Jesus would interrupt His praying and return to check upon His disciples. It’s possible that he returned to check upon them because in His hour of struggle He could not feel the prayers of His 3 disciples and wanted to find out what was wrong with them.

Each time He returned He found them asleep. Imagine grief over this hour was consuming Him and His strength and yet, the disciples were so indifferent to Jesus and His struggle that they fell sound asleep.

Finally, in verse 45 we are told that even without their prayers Jesus had found the victory through his own prayers and now tells them to “Sleep On Now”. What He was really saying to them that they might as well stay asleep, for now their prayers were no longer needed.

As I read these verses a few minutes ago I was struck with at least three great truths we should glean from this historical event in Jesus’ life.

1. Jesus Is Still Plagued With Indifferent Believers!

In this crisis hour for the world, the Church is still filled with believers who are asleep to the crisis of the hour and of how desperately Jesus needs their prayers.

2. Like Jesus, Believers Had Better Learn To Depend Upon Their Own Prayers For Finding Victory In These Perilous Times.

I have often had people tell me that during their hour of trial they could feel the prayers of God’s people giving them the grace they needed to endure in faith until the victory came, but there will be many times, like Jesus on that fateful night, when you will not be able to feel the prayers of God’s people and if you could visit their homes you would not find them on their knees in prayer, but you would probably find them sound asleep in bed, or asleep on the couch while the TV is blasting.

Learn to pray alone and stand alone in this hour. You will find that even though you have asked the brethren to pray for you and they have promised to do so, most will soon be asleep while you are praying all alone.

3. There Will Come a Time When Jesus No Longer Needs Your Prayers.

You will be able to hear Him say to you, SLEEP ON NOW, I no longer need your prayers.

A. That lost soul Jesus has asked you to pray for will one day die and all the prayers in the world will not be able to do them any good any longer. Sleep On Now!

B. Your Dying Church desperately needs your prayers and you have heard the call of Jesus to pray for your Church, but again you have fallen asleep and one day you may wake up to find her doors are closed and your prayers will no longer be needed. Sleep On Now!

C. Your teenage child is struggling to have victory over the world, the flesh and the devil and you have been challenged by Jesus to pray for them. To pray that Jesus would continue to keep them pure and out of the clutches of the world and Satan, but again you sleep when you should be praying and one day you will wake up and discover that they are in the far country wallowing in sin. Many will perish in the world’s pig pens and then your prayers will no longer be needed. Sleep On Now!

D. Your Nation Is Soon To Fall and Jesus is calling His people to help Him save America through your prayers, but again you are asleep to the True State of our nation and the dire crisis that she is in. You are drunk on success and the love of pleasures and spiritually passed out and unaware of all that is going on around you.

I must say that I am convinced that the Church will not awake until it is too late for our prayers to any longer make a difference and when Satan has taken our nation down for good you will awake to the voice of Jesus telling you to “SLEEP ON NOW”, I no longer can use your prayers, it is too late to save America.


There are many other things that call us to prayer and it is High Time that we awake from our sleep.

Jesus needs your prayers in the hour of crisis and let us never hear Him say to us to Sleep On Now.

Arise from your sleep and do all you can to awaken your Church.

Learn to depend upon your own prayers, Develop you own personal prayer life, one day your prayers may be the only ones you can depend upon.
~Jack Woodard


About Jack Woodard

I am a Baptist Pastor. [Calling the Church to Revival and Sinners to Salvation for 42 Years]
This entry was posted in PRAYER, REVIVAL, SERMONS. Bookmark the permalink.

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