And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
There are two stories here, but one lesson. First, Jesus is getting ready to go to the cross. He has known this for a long time. But Jesus, Son of God though He may be, is still a man. He has come in the flesh with its limitations. So He comes before the father to ask, "Am I missing something here? Does it really have to go this way?" Jesus is willing, but His flesh is weak, and would rather not be crucified if possible. But His spirit prevails and He accepts the mission.
The disciples are also weak in the flesh. But they don't have enough spirit to stay awake. Jesus has something they do not, but will have. And this would change after Jesus was resurrected: "Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.' And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.'" (John 20:21-23).
The disciples would receive the Holy Ghost that day, but Jesus promised them they would also receive power: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). After this, not only would they stay awake, but they would be praying, preaching, healing workers of miracles. And this would also come at a price, as they would eventually be persecuted like their master.
So what about our own lack of power? Has God rescinded His gifts, or are we unwilling to take the consequences that come with them?