‘Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”’ – Matthew 26.39From Sam Lomas:
Sometimes it can be hard to know what to pray. I am often guilty of praying less than I ought for something or someone out of confusion or fear that I might request the wrong thing. Yet, by contrast, Jesus never struggled in this way.
Jesus’ prayer life was life giving, not fearful. We often read in the Gospels that Jesus would withdraw to pray and on occasion spend entire nights in prayer. Jesus knew how important it was to be in conversation with His heavenly father and so he even chose to forfeit sleep at times during His ministry so that He could pray.
One of Jesus’ most revealing prayer times was on the night of His arrest. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus is gripped with anxiety over His near future. A future that He knew contained extreme suffering, the worst kind any human being could ever imagine.
Jesus’ example of prayer in the midst of fear and anxiety is truly remarkable. Jesus makes His request, that God might find another way. One with less suffering perhaps. But Jesus knew that God’s will and plan for His life was the best one possible and so within His prayer Jesus included, “but not as I will; but as you will”.
Jesus shows us here how we too should pray. We are free to make your requests to God in prayer, that’s exactly what Jesus does. But with any request we make for our life or others, we must remember that ultimately the Lord’s will is the best.
What does it take to be able to say, “I want your will to be done”?
It takes a firm trust in God’s plans; it takes prayer and obedience each step of the way. It’s not easy. But by adding these nine simple words “but not as I will; but as you will”, your prayer life will be enhanced and transformed and become more like Jesus’.