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With his arrest, trial, and crucifixion just days away, Jesus uttered this brief but telling prayer to his Father: “Now my soul is troubled.  And what should I say – ‘Father, save me from this hour’?  No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.  Father, glorify your name” (Jn. 12:27,28).

This prayer tells us something of Jesus’ mental state in “this hour.”  Namely, that he was fully human.  He was troubled.  Perhaps the thought of his impending death brought before him its approaching horrors and pains.  Or, perhaps he was anxious about the effect his suffering and death would have upon his disciples.  Whatever the reason, “this hour” drove Jesus to reach out to his Father.

This prayer tells us that Jesus weighed his options.  “What should I say?” is an honest question, and Jesus does not mind his Father knowing that he is pondering it.  “Should I ask for the Father to save me from this hour?” Jesus wonders.  Notice that this is an option Jesus weighs – yes, he contemplates it – then moves away from it.

Amazingly, Jesus understood that “this hour” had its own special purpose.  He knew there was a reason he had come to this hour.  We know, of course, that the events of “this hour” made possible our salvation!

Finally, we learn the astonishing request Jesus made in that prayer: “Father, glorify your name.”  Isn’t this magnificent!  When Jesus’ hour comes he doesn’t pray, “Save me from this hour,” but “Glorify yourself through this hour.”

Our Lord can teach us a lot about how to face dark days of the soul.  When we come to distressing moments in our lives, we can reach out to God for his help.  We can bare our hearts to him in complete honesty.  We can view the hours we would want to be saved from as carrying a meaning and a purpose.  And, when we must endure dark days we can seek, not the avoidance of personal pain and suffering, but that our heavenly Father is glorified in the experience.  Lord, help us to respond as you did when comes our hour of grief and pain!

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