“yet not My will, but Yours be done”
By James Campbell
40 When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down andbegan to pray, 42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:40-42
Can I confess for a moment? My prayers are frequently not what they should be. All too often I come to pray with a list of things I would like for God to do at the front of my mind. There are people I want healed, lives I want restored, circumstances I want changed, and pain I want relieved. I come to God in prayer, asking Him to do all that is on my heart.
It is not that I should not make my requests known to God. After all, Scripture is clear that God cares for us and that He answers the prayers of His children. Furthermore, God’s word says that often we don’t have because we don’t ask. The issue isn’t that I have desires, it’s whether I want my own desires more than I want His will.
Jesus is to be my example in all things, including prayer. In the passage above, Jesus, the one who did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, prays to His father. In this prayer He does not deny His own will, but He comes before His Father’s throne willing to submit His will to His Father’s.
He acknowledged His desire to avoid the agony of the cross and all that entailed, but He also committed to obedience to the Father’s will…even if His will had to die. The attitude of His prayer is that of changing His will to align with the Fathers, not to change the Father’s to align with His.
Too often when I bring my requests before God I do so with a heart that seeks to bend God’s will to my own. What arrogance-the created seeking to re-create the Creator in his image. That is idolatry and pride. It is the same sin that caused Satan to fall and the same lie he told Eve in the garden. God is God, and we are not. If there is misalignment between God’s will and our own, we are the ones who need to adjust.
As I die to myself “old man” and my own fleshly desires, I become better able to pray with the will of God in mind. When there is a misalignment between my will and God’s, I become increasingly ready to change my will rather than try to change His.
Day by day we each face our own Gethsemane moments, those times when we are faced with disagreement between what we want and our Father’s will. Rather than seek to plead our case and sway the heart of God, let’s cry out together, asking Him to move our hearts-to help us to love what He loves more than what we do.
May we learn to always pray, “yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
Photo credit: radiant guy / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)