Dear Precious Friends,
I pray you had a beautiful weekend filled with joy no matter your circumstance as we shared in our devo yesterday... abiding joy...
I am always in awe of the prayer Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gesthemanie, yet I think to myself when I pray am I really submitting to God's will and releasing my burdens and joys to Him asking for His will and truly willing to accept God's answer.... Jesus example ought to be a comfort to us. Prayer was a way of life for Jesus, even when his human desires ran contrary to God's. We can pour out our honest desires to God, even when we know they conflict with hHs, even when we wish with all of our body and soul that God's will could be done in some other way.
The Bible says Jesus Christ was in agony. We sense the intense conflict in Jesus' prayer, as his sweat contained great droplets of blood (Luke 22:44). He asked his Father to remove the cup of suffering. Then he surrendered, "Not my will, but yours be done."
Here Jesus demonstrated the turning point in prayer for all of us. Prayer is not about bending God's will to get what we want. The purpose of prayer is to seek God's will and then align our desires with His. Jesus willingly placed his desires in full submission to the Father's will. This is the stunning turning point. We encounter the crucial moment again in Matthew's Gospel:
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." (Matthew 26:39 NLT)
Jesus not only prayed in submission to God, he lived that way:
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me." (John 6:38 NIV)
When Jesus gave the disciples the pattern of prayer, he taught them to pray for God's sovereign rule:
" Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10 NIV)
When we want something desperately, choosing God's will over our own is not an easy feat. God the Son understands better than anyone just how difficult this choice can be. When Jesus called us to follow Him, He called us to learn obedience through suffering just as he had:
Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. (Hebrews 5:8–9 NLT)
So when we pray, go ahead and pray honestly. God understands our weaknesses. Jesus understands our human struggles. Cry out with all of the anguish in your soul, just as Jesus did. God can take it. Then lay down your stubborn, fleshy will. Submit to God and trust him.
If we truly trust God, we'll have the strength to let go of our wants, our passions, and our fears, and believe that His will is perfect, right, and the very best thing for us.