“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter. ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.'” (Matthew 26:40-41, NIV)
We are full of potential! Of all of the external influences that conspire to limit our achievement and hobble the power of the spirit within us, physical fatigue is arguably the most formidable.
Then, we are tempted to excuse our failure to follow-through on our physical limitations: We are old (or young); we are ill-positioned; we are exhausted; we are handicapped. Jesus did not expect the disciples to do more than any of them were able. He never did. He expected only that they watch with Him for 60 minutes.
Our physical limitations are real, but they are not insurmountable — especially if we are willing to pray as we stand watch; and watch as we “stand” praying. Our physical limitations are real, but they are not insurmountable — especially if we are willing to include those nearest to us in the task. What might have been the outcome, despite their fatigue, had the 11 disciples chosen to (as Paul and Silas did some years later in prison; please see Acts 16:22-26 for the full story) pray and sing hymns to release the spirit; energize the flesh — and see the power of God come down? The spirit is willing! – Luther