Rarely does a Scripture leap out at me as powerfully as today's impromptu reading of Matthew's account of the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. In Matt 26:45, it reads, "So leaving them again, He went way, and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them. 'Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?' Berhold, the hour is at hand and the Son of Man is betrayed unto the hands of sinnners. Rise, let us be going see my betrayer is at hand.'"46
Three calls to prayer at Gethsemane to prepare for the Passion were ignored by Peter and the disciples, followed by Peter denying Christ three times and all but John abandoning Him on the Cross. After Jesus is in the Tomb three days, and appears to Peter on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, cooking fish over a charcoal fire, He asks Peter three times, "Peter, do you love me more than these?" when Peter answers Yes each time, Jesus asks him to "feed my sheep."
I never knew about the three times Jesus returned to ask Peter and the other disciples to pray. It struck me today that Jesus has asked me to pray and prepare for battle many times and that I have failed to pray and thus failed to have the strength I required to defend Him in the public square. Now I remembered that tomorrow the hearing for Physician Assisted Suicide is being held in the Connecticut Legislature Building, and though I can't get a babysitter, I have to try harder and give it to Jesus, to pray and prepare and leave the result to Him.
This time I am saying "Here I am Lord."