As his life and ministry builds to the boiling point, Jesus feels enormous pressure and stress. So how does he respond? He goes to the garden and prays. Meanwhile, his disciples watch and wait with him. In the most heated moments of life, prayer is the practice Jesus most wants to teach us as his followers.
Sometimes a night is just the end of a day. But sometimes, it’s more: night can bring darkness and loss, or relief and peace. Nights are when we stop moving and consider life. The story of God’s people is full of great nights, when conflict peaks, when people explore big questions, and when lives are lost and won.
Interesting things can happen at supper; engagements to marriage, business deals, professions of love, and even life-shattering betrayals. At supper one night, even in the face of betrayal, Jesus was glorified.
SCRIPTURE: John 13:21-31
Sometimes, when the night seems the darkest, all you can do is sing. Silly songs, serious songs, songs that give hope. And sometimes, in the midst of those songs, something amazing breaks through, and in the midst of it is God!
SCRIPTURE: Acts 16:25-34
In the morning, we're ready to take on the world. But it's at night, in our fatigue, that we take heed of our doubts and fears. Believing seems to take more than we have to give. It's at night when Gideon tests God's faithfulness, even as he pleads for mercy. Is God really present or are we getting fleeced?
SCRIPTURE: Judges 6:36-46
He wanted to believe. After he'd put Daniel and the others in with the lions for the night, the king couldn't sleep. He was anguished. He'd laid down the gauntlet, and he had to know the answer. Was Daniel right after all? Would Daniel's God come through?
SCRIPTURE: Daniel 6:16-28
Sometimes our relationship with God can feel like a wrestling match. We sense God's presence, but resist. We ask for God's favor, and when he doesn't respond, we keep on asking. The story of Jacob encourages us to keep on wrestling, even when it hurts.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 32:22-32