And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
Not even one hour. Peter had said he was willing to die with Jesus, yet he could not even win over his own flesh and resist the pull of sleep. Only one hour. Jesus had asked such a small amount of him, something reasonable to request of him, and yet he’s sleeping when Jesus wanted him to pray with Him. Jesus was in agony, facing the most difficult moment of His life, and the ones He thought might be loyal had let Him down. They had left Him to pray alone. Peter didn’t understand the battle that was coming, and he would depend too much on himself and fail.
Not even one hour. How often have we tried to pray and then fallen asleep or got distracted or decided to do something else instead? How often have we forsaken our time with the Lord for other things? How often have we neglected Him because of our own fleshly desires? Only one hour. Jesus doesn’t ask much of us. It’s not about spending a set amount of time doing something, but it’s about a desire to spend time with Him at all. It’s up to us whether we want that fellowship, that communion, that time together, because He certainly does.
This was a unique time in Jesus’ life, and in this moment, He invited some friends into that secret place of prayer with His Father. Several times in Scripture He is seen going off by Himself to pray, but now He asks three of His disciples to pray with Him. He didn’t want to face this alone. He needed them. He wanted them near. And now Jesus doesn’t need us to pray for Him, but He still wants us to spend some time in that secret, intimate place of prayer. He wants us to commune together with the Father. He wants to share in those special moments with us, especially when we are facing a trial ourselves.
When it comes right down to it, Jesus doesn’t ask much of us. He bids us to follow. He encourages us to pray. He invites us to draw near. And He wants us to be obedient and faithful. But a lot of times it just comes down to the desire of our hearts and whether it’s important enough to us to spend time on those things. Maybe looking back, Peter regretted this moment, especially after denying Jesus right before He gives His life. And maybe going forward it encouraged Him to spend more time in prayer and fellowship with his Lord, and may it encourage us to do the same.