What Jesus Did! 'The Usual Place' — Luke 22:39-46

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There he told them, "Pray that you will not give in to temptation."

He walked away, about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. "Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation."

— Luke 22:39-46 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus went to "the usual place," the Mount of Olives. There, he warned his disciples again about the temptation that was about to engulf them. Everything about those events is surreal, bizarre, and horrifying except one: Jesus was in his place of prayer. He had walked with the Father his entire ministry. Prayer had been his connecting link with his Father in heaven. In prayer, Jesus re-centered his sense of ministry, gained strength, rejoiced, and spoke honestly of his own struggles. So now, at the crucial moment in his life, he was prepared to face his awful test. For Jesus, surrendering to the Father in prayer wasn't some last-minute thing used to try to dodge his difficult trial. It was an extended conversation, a continuing walk with the Father to whom he had repeatedly submitted his will. Jesus could ask that the Father's will be done because he had asked it so often before in "the usual place." Do you have a time carved out in your day where you re-surrender your will to the Father? Do you have "the usual place" where you pledge your heart to God? It can be at your computer or with your mobile device as you take time each day to draw close to the Father and recommit your life to him. It can be in the quiet of the morning ... or the evening ... or at noon. The important thing is that we have "the usual place" where we meet God and say, "Father ... I want your will, not mine." When we do, we can be sure he hears us, sends his angels to attend to us, and works in our lives to bring us ultimately to his glory.

Today's Prayer

Father, thank you for meeting me in "the usual place." I submit my will and my life to you, trusting in your gracious promises to me and your glorious future for me. Please give me the courage to follow where you lead me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Hebrews 5:7
  • Hebrews 1:14
  • Philippians 2:5-11


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Illustration of Luke 22:39-46 NLT — "Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.