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Jesus’s Prayer Before His Suffering - Matt. 26:36-46

World Changers & Giant Slayers October 30, 2022

((This was the lesson I taught last week to both our World Changers (early to mid elementary) and Giant Slayers (late elementary & middle school) classes. Trying to help them see how crucial prayer is to help us endure the suffering necessary to accomplish God's purposes for us. We always try to get as many who can to read a verse or two out loud and then I/we try to help the children learn to find the answers to questions from the scriptures they just read (they tend to guess or just throw out answers so we have to re-direct them back to the scriptures - unless the question is one that is not black and white from the scriptures). In working with children and young people we want them to develop confidence that they by the Holy Spirit's help can acquire knowledge and understanding from the scriptures through focused meditation.))

INTRODUCTION – Reality of suffering and afflictions and trials for all of us

Believers have Jesus to learn from on how to overcome them and endure them and become stronger through them.

No one has ever suffered like He did.

No one has ever handled it like He did. At least partially because of the way He prayed.

36 “Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

Who is the “them”? What did He command them to do?

What did Jesus intend to do at this place?

37 “And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. “

Why these three?

Why did Jesus become grieved and distressed?

38 “Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”

How grieved was Jesus?

Why do you think He told them about how grieved He was?

What did He command Peter, James and John to do?

What did He mean by “watch”?

39 “And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Why did He fall on His face? Did He literally fall?

What was “this cup”?

Was this all He prayed? 10 second prayer?

In His prayer, did Jesus demand His way?

40 “And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?”

What clue do we find here about how long Jesus prayed up to that point?

Why do you think the disciples were sleeping?

Is Jesus against sleep?

41 “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

What do you think the significance of the word “keep” before watching and praying?

What temptation did Peter, James and John enter into?

What does Jesus mean by “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”?

What does it mean to watch?

42 “He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

Since He prayed for about an hour the first time, do you think He might have prayed for an hour or so this time?

Whose will is the most important to Jesus?

43 “Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.”

When He came back this time were the disciples watching and praying?

44 “And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more.”

Does Matthew mean this is all Jesus said?

45 “Then He came to the 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.”

What was Jesus’s expectation when He came back this third time from praying?

Do you think He was mad or disappointed or…?

How did Jesus know this?

46 “Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”

How did Jesus know this?


1. This wasn’t the first time Jesus prayed for the strength to do God’s will – John 12:27,28 “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. “Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

2. In prayer we find strength from God to do what we by ourselves cannot do

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