Prayers in the Garden…
The author of Hebrews reflects back on Jesus’ prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane:
In the days when he was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. -Hebrews 5:7, NAB
Christ was in anguish in the garden. He knew the time had come for Him to be arrested, beaten, and crucified. The day of His death had finally come, and He offered prayers in the garden to His Father:
“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” …Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!” -Matthew 26:39,42, NAB
Jesus, in the midst of complete agony, asked His Father to save Him from the horrible fate that awaited Him, but at the same time, He fully accepted God’s will for His life. As we obviously know already, though God could have saved His Son from the cross, Christ fulfilled the mission that He was called to do.
When we cry out to God in our times of greatest need, we may fear that He cannot hear us – especially when we do not get the answers we hoped for. But did Jesus’ prayers in the garden go unheard? Of course not. God the Father heard every word, but God knew that a greater good would come from that day’s evil.
Did the Father answer the Son’s prayers? Yes. By giving Jesus the strength needed to endure the pain, by comforting His Son in His final hours, by giving Christ hope in the darkness, God answered. And He will answer our prayers too.
Christ prayed with “loud cries and tears” in His time of need, and we can do the same. In confidence, we know that God will listen to our every word and respond with the help we need. We may not get the answer we wanted or hoped for, but God will always be there for us.
God sees our tears and hears our every prayer. In your times of greatest need, turn to the One who offers love, compassion, strength, and hope for the journey ahead.