"Rise and pray"

In his great hour of need, Jesus, the Founder of Christianity, received small aid from his followers. This crusader for the freedom of mankind from sin, sickness, and death, whose influence in the affairs of men has ever since been felt, was forced to carry his burden alone. Scripture tells us that during the impending danger, and shortly before his betrayal by Judas, Jesus, the Exemplar of prayerful diligence, was found praying even more earnestly. His disciples, who loved him, and whom he had asked to watch and pray, succumbed to the stupefying mental miasma of hatred and jealousy directed of Jesus and his teachings. In their sorrow they slept.

The spiritual alertness of Jesus was capable of detecting, meeting, and defeating this pernicious thought influence, but the mournful heaviness of the disciples proved inadequate to the occasion. The burden of the moment, the destiny of Jesus, and fear for their careers might have seemed to justify the disciples' sorrowful lethargy, but for the fact that the hour of catastrophe is no time in which to sleep. When Jesus found them in this state of mind he admonished them to "rise and pray."

A Smiling Face
September 30, 1944

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