Luke Series- Session 22- Luke 22:39-46

Session 22- Pivotal Prayer

Luke 22:39-46

Subject: Prayer

Central Theme:  Pivotal Prayer

Objective Statement:  We must recognize that prayer is pivotal.  Observe 4 Facets of Jesus Prayer Life that pointed to how pivotal prayer was for Jesus.

Keyword: Facets

Facet #1. The Place of Jesus’s Prayer

Facet #2. The Posture of Jesus’ Prayer

Facet #3.  The Passion of Jesus’ Prayer

Facet #4. The Priority of Jesus’ Prayers



Luke Series- Session 22- Luke 22 39 to 46



  • If I were to ask you what is “pivotal” in your life, what would be the answer?
  • To come up with an exhaustive list it may be helpful to have a definition.
  • The word pivotal is defined this way- “of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else.”
  • For the athlete it is the physical condition necessary to accomplish the task.
  • For the accountant it is arithmetic.
  • For the builder it is materials.
  • There are some things that are “nice to have” and some things that are “must have”.


  • There is something about difficulties, trials and temptations that help us to know what is optional and what is pivotal.
  • Times of crisis have a way of helping to strip away all the auxiliary and forcing us to the most pivotal things in our lives.
  • Jesus is about to go into a time of extreme trial.
  • Last week we looked at His time at the Lord’s table where He instituted this memorial with His disciples where they would remember His sacrificial death.
  • This death that He was going to experience was a physical trial for sure, but it was just part of the sacrifice.
  • Jesus was going to be scourged, beaten, and crucified which were challenging enough. He was also going to bear the wrath of God for the sin of the whole world.
  • The Father was going to turn His face away.
  • Jesus knew that this was coming, and so in these last moments of freedom before He was arrested, tried, and executed, Jesus gave Himself over to what He believed was most pivotal in that very important moment.
  • He gave Himself to prayer.


Observe 4 Facets of Jesus Prayer Life that pointed to how pivotal prayer was for Jesus.

Facet #1. The Place of Jesus’s Prayer. (v.39-40)

(39) And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.  (40)  And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.



  • In this pivotal moment Jesus goes to the mount of olives. This is a place that he had been to many times before.  There is a clue to this truth in verse 39 where it says he went “as he was wont”.  This is an old English way of saying that this was a familiar pattern with Jesus.  Jesus had often gone to the mount of olives.  He is referred to as being in the mount of olives in every Gospel and is placed there multiple times.
  • Matthew and Mark contain what is called the Olivet discourse where His disciples ask Him about the end of the age:

Mat_24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Mar_13:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,

  • We have already seen him in the area in Luke at the beginning of the triumphal entry.

Luk_19:37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;

  • In the Gospel of John, you will find this verse:

Joh_8:1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

  • It is at the end of a discussion that the people were having about the identity of Jesus. Right after he goes to the mount of olives in John 8:1, he comes back to the temple.
  • He had gone there for a reason, and I conjecture it would be to get alone with God.
  • The specific place on the Mount of Olives that Jesus went to was a garden called Gethsemane. We know this from parallel passages in Matthew and Mark.

Mat_26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

Mar_14:32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.

  • Jesus often would get alone to pray.

Mat_14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Mar_6:46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.

Luk_9:28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

Luk_11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

  • When Jesus taught about prayer, He said this about having a place to pray:

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.   But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  Mat 6:5-6


  • Prayer was so pivotal to Jesus. He had a place to pray.  He made time to pray.
  • My question for us is obvious.
    • Do we have a place to pray?
    • Do you have a time?
    • Do you have somewhere you go to pray?
    • Is it part of your schedule?
  • How can we expect the rewards of God apart from the presence of God?
  • Why should we expect the blessing of God when we do not spend time with God?


  • Pick a place and a time and get to praying!

Observe 4 Facets of Jesus Prayer Life that pointed to how pivotal prayer was for Jesus.

Facet #1. The Place of Jesus’s Prayer

Facet #2. The Posture of Jesus Prayer (V.41-43)

(41)  And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,  (42)  Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.  (43)  And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.


  • Jesus got to this pivotal time of prayer. He got by Himself in the place where He needed to be, and we see that he assumed a posture.  Did He have to kneel?  I do not believe so.  In fact, we know that you do not have to kneel to pray because in verse 46 he told His disciples to rise and pray.
  • Yet Jesus did kneel, and Luke records it. His physical posture was one of kneeling.
  • When we kneel, it is a place of vulnerability.
  • It is a place of submission.  When we see people go before an earthly king, what do they do?  They kneel.  Even visually it is a picture of submission.
  • Jesus’ physical posture matched the posture of His heart. Notice what He says to God.  He calls him Father.
  • This is the pattern He had given His disciples in the Lord’s prayer. In this moment He is talking to His Father in heaven.
  • Notice the submission of HIs request: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me…”.
  • Jesus was about to drink from the cup of God’s wrath for the sin of the World. Jesus, like any of us, did not want to taste of the wrath of God.  He did not want there to be separation between Him and the Father.  The scripture says that for the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross.
  • Yet, Jesus finished out this request in the way we ought to pray when He said, “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” This matches what Jesus said in the model prayer.  “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
  • In this text we see something that God gives to Jesus in this moment. It is obvious that it was God’s Will was that He did drink from the cup.  It is obvious that Jesus would submit to God’s will in that.  In that moment, Jesus was in agony as we will see.  Although God did not make the cup pass, He did send help to strengthen Jesus in this moment in the form of an angel.

“(43)  And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”


  • You know that it is often this way with us.
  • We may pray for God to get us out of a situation, or to take care of a problem, and this is not wrong. God wants us to go to Him for the things we need.
  • But there should always be this attitude of submission in our prayers expressed in the words of Jesus when He said, “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.” “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
  • We are never promised that God will always answer our prayers the way we want Him to, but we are promised His strength, His help, and His presence.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

1 Peter 5:5-7 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.  (6)  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (7)  Casting all your care upon him; for the careth for you.


  • Where does submissive prayer need to happen in your life today? How can you, through prayer, get off the throne and put Jesus on the throne today?

Observe 4 Facets of Jesus Prayer Life that pointed to how pivotal prayer was for Jesus.

Facet #1. The Place of Jesus’s Prayer

Facet #2. The Posture of Jesus Prayer

Facet #3.  The Passion of Jesus Prayer (V.44)

(44)  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.


  • Here we see the passion in Jesus’ prayer. It is described in the intensity of the moment.  He was in agony.  The difficulty He was experiencing was matched by His intensity in prayer.  To the point that there was a physical response.  He began to sweat blood.
  • There is a government agency called “The National Center for Biotechnology Information”. It describes its mission on its website.   “The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.”
  • On its site I found this paragraph:

Hematohidrosis is a rare condition in which a human being sweats blood. [1] Leonardo Da Vinci described a soldier who sweated blood before battle. Jesus Christ experienced hematohidrosis while praying in the garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion as mentioned in the Defenders Bible by Physician Luke as “and being in anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

  • As this quote points out, it is interesting to note that Luke, the doctor, is the one to notice and point out this physical detail. The Bible is full of references to blood.  There is a scarlet thread through the Bible, and here it is again in this passage.
  • Jesus’ pattern here is in keeping with what He taught about prayer earlier in Luke:

Luk_18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

  • What did Jesus pray in this moment? Did He only say the words recorded here?
  • These words were certainly representative of His entire attitude in prayer. Yet, John records for us more details of Jesus’ prayer.  Read this with me:

John 17:1-9

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: (2)  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.  (3)  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.  (4)  I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  (5)  And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.  (6)  I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.  (7)  Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.  (8)  For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.  (9)  I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

  • He prayed for God to be glorified.
  • He prayed for disciples.
  • He tells God He had finished this work of discipleship with them, and then look at what He says next…

John 17:17-21
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.  (18)  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  (19)  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  (20)  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; (21)  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

  • He prays for the ones who would believe because of their testimony. He prays that we would be unified, and it is all wrapped up in salvation, discipleship and sending.
  • He was going to the cross to glorify His Father. He was going to the cross to save sinners.  He was going to the cross so that those who would believe would be empowered and sent to the whole world all for God’s glory!


  • Jesus’ intensity in prayer matched the moment that he prayed it and the mission that He was here to accomplish. We have been sent on His same mission.  Does our intensity in prayer match our mission?  Have you prayed intense prayers for your Sunday school class?  For your church?  For the people you are trying to reach?  For the people you are trying to disciple?  For your spouse?  For your kids?  For your community?    If not us then who?  Who is going to pray for these people?
  • Do you just pray token prayers at the appropriate times- before meals, during a gathering of believers, or with your kids before bed? These times of prayer are not bad, they just are not enough.
  • When have you prayed with passion and intensity like Jesus did?


  • Pray, right now, with intensity!!!!

Observe 4 Facets of Jesus Prayer Life that pointed to how pivotal prayer was for Jesus.

Facet #1. The Place of Jesus’s Prayer

Facet #2. The Posture of Jesus’ Prayer

Facet #3.  The Passion of Jesus’ Prayer

Facet #4. The Priority of Jesus’ Prayer (v.45-46)

(45)  And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,  (46)  And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.


  • In these last moments before Jesus was to be arrested and betrayed, He gave Himself to prayer. He then gets up and comes to His disciples, finding them asleep.  Notice His question to them:

(46)  And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

  • In this moment Jesus was telling them to prioritize prayer over sleep. He was telling them to prioritize prayer.  Why?  He gives the reason when he said, “lest ye enter into temptation”.
  • In the previous verses He had told the disciples that they ought to sell their garments and buy a sword. Why?  Because, as scripture foretold, He was about to be “named with the transgressors”.  He was going to be tried and arrested as a criminal.  He was about to be crucified between two thieves.  In fact, even when He is arrested, He asks the scribes, pharisees and temple guard this question:

Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?  (53)  When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.

Luke 22:52-53

  • If they could get to Jesus and kill Him, they would certainly not stop with Him. They would go after His disciples.  These disciples would be tempted to disown, deny, and desert Jesus, and prayer was an important part of what it takes for them to defeat this temptation.
  • And they did give in to this temptation. There was a spiritual battle.  Jesus mentioned it in verse 53, when He said that those coming against Him were part of “the power of darkness”.
  • The good news is there is redemption in the blood of Jesus. These disciples would all end up being persecuted, and all but John giving their lives for the name of Christ as martyrs.


  • If we are going to be what God wants us to be we must realize that we are in a Spiritual battle. In Ephesians 6:10-12, Paul says this:

Ephesians 6:10-12

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  (11)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  (12)  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

  • We must never forget that we are in a spiritual battle. Paul describes that here and tells the church at Ephesus to put on the armor of God to fight this Spiritual battle.  At the end of describing this armor He says this in verse 18-20:

Ephesians 6:18-20 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;  (19)  And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,  (20)  For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

  • If we are going to win against temptation in the midst of a spiritual battle, we must prioritize prayer!


  • When you look at last week, did you prioritize prayer?
    • Did you have a place to pray?
    • Did you have Jesus’ posture of prayer?
    • Did you have Jesus’ passion in your prayer life?
    • Did you have the spiritual power that comes when you prioritize prayer?
    • Did you fall into temptation in part because of prayerlessness?

We fight for the Lord on our knees when we prioritize prayer!


Observe 4 Facets of Jesus Prayer Life that pointed to how pivotal prayer was for Jesus.

Facet #1. The Place of Jesus’s Prayer

Facet #2. The Posture of Jesus’ Prayer

Facet #3.  The Passion of Jesus’ Prayer

Facet #4. The Priority of Jesus’ Prayer


  • In conclusion I want you to know something important. This was not the last time that Jesus was at the Mount of Olives.

Acts 1:6-9 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?  (7)  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.  (8)  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (9)  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.


  • Then a couple of Angels showed up:

Acts 1:11-12  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.  (12)  Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.

  • Jesus ascended into heave from the mount of Olives. Now one more verse and we will be done.  This is not the last time Jesus will be on the Mount of Olives.  Check out Zechariah 14:1-5.

Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.  (2)  For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; …..

(3)  Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.  (4)  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.  (5)  And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

Zechariah 14:1-5


  • Jesus Christ’s prayer was answered, and He did accomplish God’s Will. The message of the Gospel was manifested to His disciples, who made disciples, who made disciples.  And one day, because of the death, burial, resurrection, and great commission of Jesus, “the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee”, “and His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives”!
  • Prayer was Jesus’ priority. Is it a priority in your life?

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