“Waiting for clarity is a necessity…Sometimes you’ve got to pray all night for clarity.” – Pastor Kent Munsey

“Jesus left and made his way to the Mount of Olives, as was his custom, and the disciples followed him. When he arrived, he said to them, ‘Pray that you won’t give in to temptation.’ He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed. He said, ‘Father, if it’s your will, take this cup of suffering away from me. However, not my will but your will must be done’… When he got up from praying, he went to his disciples. He found them asleep, overcome by grief” (Luke 22:39-41, 45).

During Jesus’ last night on earth, he prayed all night so that what he wanted would be in clear obedience to God’s will. Scripture says that Jesus was experiencing agonizing stress as he waited to be arrested, beaten, and crucified. While Jesus waited, with excruciating anxiety for even greater suffering, he prayed desperately for clarity. The intensity with which Jesus prayed reveals the intensity of his desperation for clarity. Jesus wanted his Father’s will, and nothing less. So Jesus prayed all night that the Father’s will would be in clear focus, and that Jesus’ own will would be in alignment.

Not only did Jesus wait for clarity, he invited his disciples to wait for the same clarity. Jesus knew that if his disciples prayed like he did, they would be focused on God’s will. Jesus’ disciples desperately wanted a different kind of King, an invincible military figure to bring them political independence from Rome. Jesus’ disciples were so depressed at their King’s pending betrayal and perceived defeat that all they could do is sleep. Sometimes what we think God should do doesn’t line up with what it looks like his is doing.  When we pray until we are clear, we can catch a glimpse of God’s larger plan.  What God had in mind for Jesus was so much bigger than a moment in political history. 

Rather than accepting defeat, rather than accepting death, Jesus invites his followers to focus on him and to fix our will to God’s perfect will. God’s will in the face of fear is faith. God’s will in the face of despair is joy. God’s will in the face of death is his resurrection. God’s perfect will is made clear in Jesus, our victorious Savior King. And he invites us to focus on him, fix our wants and our will on him, and follow.

Read Hebrews 12:1-3.

Questions for Contemplation

  1. Do you believe that God wants good things for you? What do you believe is God wants for you?
  2. Do you believe God has a good purpose for you? (Ephesians 2:10) What do you believe is God’s will/purpose for you?
  3. How can you keep God’s will for your heart and your life in clear focus? What are some practical ways tools you can utilize to fix your will on God’s will?

Write a prayer asking God to make his presence clear to you. Ask him to reveal more and more of his good, perfect, and trustworthy heart. Surrender your wants, fears, and disappointments back to the Only One who overcame sin and death. Ask him to fix your will to his good, perfect, and trustworthy will.