This morning my devotional reading brought me to the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane right before he was betrayed by Judas and arrested. (Matt. 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, & Luke 22:39-46)

I was impressed by how much the humanity of Jesus didn’t want to suffer, but He said yes to the plan anyway.

But what really impressed me was something Jesus said to Peter:

“Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

(Matthew 26:40-41, NLT)

Jesus knew Peter would fail early the next morning. He knew how much pain Peter would be in. He knew what it would take for Peter to keep from failing – serious prayer. He told how to not fail.

But Peter just went back to sleep. And then he failed in a devastating way – doing exactly what he had vowed not to do.

This hurt Jesus tremendously. We don’t know exactly what was said between them when they first met but we know Peter was forgiven, accepted, and reinstated as a leader in the early church (see Luke 24:14 and John 21:15-19).

Jesus knows what you and I will do. He knows what will keep us from failing. He has told us what it will take.

Often times we simply go back to sleep and then fail, because we have not followed through with prayer and a deliberate focus on Jesus.

When this happens, we must remember how Jesus related to Peter. Jesus is not looking for ways to reject us and keep us out of Heaven. He is looking for ways to redeem us and to get us into Heaven – to be with Him forever.

He is full of love, compassion, and forgiveness. Remember:

God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him.

(1 Peter 5:7, CEV)

Just go back to Him confessing your failure and keep focusing on and listening to Jesus.