April 17th Lenten Devotion

Teach us to Pray

Julie Holm

Matthew 26:36-46

Sitting on a hill, in the beginning of this gospel, Jesus taught us how to pray, giving us what we now think of as the “Lord’s Prayer” or “Our Father.”   And throughout the gospel, Jesus teaches and shows us how to pray, going off by himself for silence, teaching in depth throughout the gospel on prayer, and modeling it himself.

Here, at the end, Jesus again models prayer for us, taking his pain and his emotion to God, and through it all asking that God’s will be done.   It’s all going wrong, as it does in any human life.  If you have not had to suffer in this life, just wait, it’s coming.  All manner of terrible and horrific things happen in our lives, cancer, the death of loved ones, lost jobs and incomes, homelessness, abuse, addiction, violence.  We all have our own experiences of agony.  Sometimes it leads us to question God’s love.

Jesus, here, reminds us to keep our connection with God, even when we are in pain, even when the unthinkable happens, even when we must drink from a cup we would rather have pass away.  Even when we would rather have relief than have to live through it.  And as Jesus reminds us to pray, again and again, “Your will be done.”  Because God’s will wasn’t ultimately achieved on that hill on Calvary.  That was human sin.  God’s will was done three days later, at an empty tomb.  God’s will was, and is, love.


God of Prayer, give us courage, and remind us that you walk with us through all our Agonies, and that you continue to love us even if we cannot see it.  And your will be done. 


Julie Holm is the pastor of three small rural churches in central Pennsylvania, and works within both UCC and ELCA traditions.


©2019 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  This means you may share this work only if appropriate attribution (to both the author of the original piece and to the Facebook Group which compiled it) is used, and ONLY if you are a noncommercial entity.  Any derivative work using this intellectual property must also be freely shared, as this booklet is.  Individual churches throughout the world may make copies of this booklet for their congregations in their entirety or may use individual pages from this book.   The full copyright notice above must accompany any use of this book, or any extract from it, as well as the byline and the name of the individual author. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s