Today is often known as “Maundy Thursday,” derived from the Latin “mandatum,” which means “commandment.” It refers to when Jesus, in the Upper Room during the Last Super, said to the disciples: “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34)
On Thursday of the last week of Jesus Christ’s mortal life, he spent as much time with his beloved apostles as possible. His heart was heavy knowing that the end of his time with them was very near. There was so much he still wanted them to know and understand that they could not fully grasp yet.
I’ve always found it incredibly moving that Jesus took the time to give a personal, one-on-one act of service to his dear friends. He knelt on the ground in front of each of them and washed and anointed their dusty feet.
Jesus admonished them to follow his example and to always “Love One Another.”
On this night, Jesus would become the final fulfillment of the Passover, and so he taught the symbolism of the new sacrament that should be performed – breaking bread and drinking wine – in remembrance of his body and blood.
Although many did not understand the significance yet, he prophesied of what was going to happen. And he instructed them not to be afraid.
“In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer.
I have overcome the world.”
After Jesus and his disciples left the upper room from the Last Supper, they walked across the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane.
THE POWER OF PRAYER
There is no greater teacher of the power of prayer than Jesus. In his great Sermon on the Mount, he had taught us how to pray to our Father in Heaven. Now – during the wee hours of this night – he would be offering up the greatest prayer of all time on behalf of each one of us. The Intercessory Prayer is another beautiful example of prayer – his final blessing upon the heads of his apostles, as well as a plea for strength and dedication as he entered the first agonizing part of the Atonement process.
Read: The Three Gardens of God
Jesus is the ultimate example of how we each must ‘wrestle’ through our agonies, and learn to trust in our Father in Heaven – by giving up to Him our desires, expectations and will.
No more poignant prayer was ever uttered than that given by the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane. He withdrew from His Apostles, knelt, and prayed, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” An important element of all of our prayers might well be to follow the pattern of that prayer in Gethsemane: “not my will, but thine, be done.”
By this, then, we acknowledge our devotion and submission to the overriding purposes of the Lord in our lives. As He said, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
What a glorious day it will be for each of us when we pray with confidence that “if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.”
– James E. Faust, The Lifeline of Prayer, General Conference April 2002
How has the power of keeping the commandments, and prayer helped you? – MoSop