"And going a little farther [Jesus] fell on his face and prayed, saying,'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.'" (Matthew 26:39; ESV)
It's not even the content of Jesus' prayer that hit me tonight as I read Matthew 26:36-46. Rather, it was the fact that Jesus prayed. Here's what I mean. Jesus had taken his disciples to the garden of Gethsemane. Luke and John both tell us that it was a spot that Jesus went to regularly. When they all got to a certain point, Jesus stopped them and had the disciples stay put. However, he did choose Peter, James, and John to continue on with him a little farther. Then Jesus stopped the three and told them to stay alert and keep watch him. But then Jesus went a little farther. He then fell on his face and started to pray.
I can ask people to pray with me and for me. That is a fantastic thing. However, I must remember that I am invited into the depths of prayer on a personal level where I am allowed to commune with God. To rely on the "prayers of others" while not engaging and communicating with God on my own through prayer, is to miss the opportunity to grow closer to the heart of God, getting to him better and better every time we talk. I can only take my "prayer team" so far. At some point, as they are praying for me, I must enter into the presence of Christ and pray on my own. The joy: in that place with Jesus is where I can be raw and honest, sharing my fears and frustrations, worries and concerns. It is there that I can plead my case and then proclaim God's will no matter what, strengthen by his grace to carry it out no matter what.
There is something that happens when I enter into prayer: I hear God and that makes things much better, no matter what answer God gives me.