The most vivid example of Jesus withdrawing to pray is in the garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion. It is here that we see the most vulnerable expression of his humanity firmly tethered to his unwavering determination to accomplish the salvation of the world.
41He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 43Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. 44He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.Luke 22:41-44
Distress has been my companion at times. Not because I was facing death, but life can be overwhelming at times. This example from Jesus’ life gives me such comfort. When Jesus came to prayer, he asked that it could be different at the same time submitting to the plan. And an angel appeared from heaven to strengthen him!
I can’t honestly say I have seen an angel, but I have experienced comfort that was not human. It is in our most vulnerable moments that the Holy Spirit comes alongside us and strengthens us for the next thing.
If distress is knocking at your door, I encourage you to kneel down and pray. Pour out your heart to God and if you don’t have the words, that’s okay. The Holy Spirit will speak on your behalf.
26And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.Romans 8:26
We are not alone on this journey, but it does take intention and effort to access the resources God has for us. Sometimes that is withdrawing to a quiet place to pray and reconnect with your purpose! May the Lord bless you and keep you as you seek his face!