(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.Luke 22:44
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. 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: Luke18:1
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;Luke 18:1
What did Jesus pray? Did He only say the words recorded here? No. 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:
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.John 17:1-9
– 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…
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.John 17:17-21
He prays for the ones who would believe because of their testimony. He prays that we would be unified, and it’s 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 aren’t enough.
When have you prayed with passion and intensity like Jesus did?
Pray, right now, with intensity!!!!