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For three years Christ had taught and trained His disciples. For three years He had let them share His ministry, His miracle-working power, His comfort, His encouragement, and His blessing. Now He had come to the hour of His agony and travail, and He took His disciples with Him to Gethsemane, going a little distance farther with His chosen few. In the midnight hour of prayer agony He longed for their prayer-fellowship, but they soon fell asleep.
The Son of God was wrestling with the burden of the worlds sin--but the disciples slept. He prayed until His heart was crushed with the weight of their sin--but the disciples slept. He prayed until His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground--but they slept on. One of their own number had become a traitor and was even now doing his devilish worst--but they slept on.
Satan was planning to defeat Gods plan of redemption, to damn the sin-fettered world--but the disciples slept on. It was the hour of the worlds greatest crisis; the disciples were needed, they were given a privilege angels would long to have shared--but the disciples slept. It was the greatest opportunity they had ever had to prove their love for Christ--but they slept on. All heaven and hell were watching to see what they would do. Three times Jesus came and awakened them.
Do you feel like calling them ungrateful, unsympathetic, indifferent, lazy disciples? unworthy, unspiritual? Wait! Beware lest in condemning them you condemn yourself! Today, as then, angelic beings hover near you. Elect angels are witnesses of your own faithfulness or carelessness (see 1 Timothy 5:21;cf. Ecclesiastes 5:6).
For years Christ has been training you. He has blessed you, supplying your material, physical, and spiritual needs. He has guided you step by step. His angels have protected you. He has been your constant help; He has never failed you. For years He has been preparing you and training you--but will His angel, ever at your side, report that spiritually you are still asleep?
Once more the world, your land, your friends are in sorrow and in need. Once more it is a crisis hour. Mighty forces, seen and unseen, are engaged in a crucial conflict. Decisions taken today may lead whole nations to war or to peace. Decisions taken today may lead to wider doors of gospel opportunity or to restrictions on the people of God. Decisions taken today may lead your friends and neighbors to Christ and salvation or away from Christ to eternal night. The destiny of many is in the balance--but are you spiritually asleep?
Spiritual leaders and organizations are toiling night and day for revival. Some are fasting and praying that multitudes may turn to God. Never have so many hearts been open to the Gospel. Never have we had such opportunity because of the extraordinary means of literature, radio, TV, and other aids at our disposal. Now, as never before, it is possible to influence a generation for God.
Revival is promised in the Word; touches of revival are blessing many nations. This is Gods hour. This is when your effort can count the most for God. This is the hour of God-given opportunity for you. Others are dedicating their all for God and human souls. Others are praying, interceding with tears and fasting, pleading and agonizing for souls. Are you still asleep?
Do not condemn Peter, James and John for their neglect. Is not yours a greater neglect? Do not despise those sleeping disciples if you, too, are equally asleep! Christs voice echoing down the centuries speaks to you today: "WHY ARE YOU SLEEPING?...GET UP AND PRAY" (Luke 22:46).
Lord, dont let me sleep on when You are waiting for my prayer.