“Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak’.”
Matthew wrote to Jewish readers to prove to them that Jesus was the Messiah and King that they had been seeking all these years.
At the end of his book, Matthew describes the last days of Jesus’ life here on earth, his rejection, trial, scourging, death and resurrection.
In Matthew 26 we see Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane taking His agony to the Father in prayer. He had asked His disciples to pray with Him as He went a little ways away in order to pray Himself.
When He came back after a little while Jesus found the disciples sleeping. Jesus spoke this famous question to Peter that has challenged believers ever since to pray for at least one hour at a time.
Jesus was not trying to put Peter and disciples into guilt mode. He wanted them to know how desperately He needed them to partner with Him in prayer.
Although prayer is oftentimes a solitary pursuit, it has always been meant to be done linking arms with others from all over the world with the same heart, intent on defeating the evil one and bringing about the kingdom of God.
Now you know the story behind Matthew 26:40.
If you like what you read, check out our children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It provides the Big Story behind all 66 books in the Bible including colorful illustrations, rhymes and a surprise on every page.