PRAYER GIVES US A WILL FOR WHAT WE DON'T WANT TO DO
“God is working out the circumstances even when it’s something we were never supposed to see. Trust when he is at work, and that he is working.” - Andrew Malek
Have you ever had to tackle a daunting task? Imagine having to take on huge project with the highest stakes imaginable. Imagine that the fate of the world is in play. It’s on you now. Everything in existence is riding on your decision. Can you feel the heat? Can you grasp the pressure of the moment?
Jesus definitely felt the pressure. There he was, on his knees praying to God before his crucifixion. That night, he and eleven disciples had gone up the Mount of Olives to pray. With every step, he could sense it - the mob, the beating, the spittle, the cross, the nails, pain, sin, death…
Jesus was fully aware of what was coming. He knew his time had come and he had to decide if he was going to go ahead. The scriptures say that he was so distressed over his coming pain that he began sweating blood as he prayed.
“…and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:39-42).
What a remarkable prayer. Something supernatural happened in that moment, a moment of exchange. By trusting and surrendering to God, Jesus found a supernatural will for what was in front of him. God provided him with peace by giving him divine revelation of the joy in his resurrection ahead. Jesus surrendered control to his Father, and in turn, his Father gave him strength, understanding, and joy.
“We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him” (Hebrews 12:2, GW)
That’s the power of prayer. Prayer has the power to give us the will for what we do not want to do, to fully trust in God’s plan.
Regardless of what you are facing, God wants you to trust him completely, knowing that he will always make a way for you. Place your weaknesses and fears into the eternal love of God. Trusting his will over ours takes faith, but it’s a great trade. Relinquish your limited abilities for the unlimited resources of God.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).
When you learn to pray, “not my will, but yours,” you will find yourself working things out; not by your strength but through God’s grace and power.
QUESTIONS FOR CONTEMPLATION
Everyone deals with seemingly insurmountable challenges. How will you pray differently based on what you have read today?
Are there areas of your life where you feel you need to let go of the reins and let God lead?
What tone do you think Jesus had when he said, “nevertheless, not my will but your will be done?” Was it a tone of trust?
Pray as Jesus prayed by surrendering your will to God’s will in specific areas of your life that present pain or confusion.
Pray that God gives you a prophetic picture of what lies beyond the pain. This will give you peace and a will for what you do not want to do.