by Dean Deppe

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”     Matthew 26:39

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught his disciples to say, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). In today’s verses Jesus models the process of seeking God’s will. And we can learn from him.

First, Jesus honestly tells his Father that he would like this trouble to pass by him. He really did not want to go through the suffering that he knew was soon coming.

Like Jesus, we should not be ashamed to express our wishes and desires to God. God wants us to know ourselves and to establish an honest conversation with him. But too often we stop there. Our prayers are often only about what we want.

Prayer is a dialogue, and Jesus waits for confirmation of his request. He makes this same request a second time and then a third time. He has confidence that his prayer fits the will of his Father. But eventually he is convinced that his will is not God’s will. So he submits to the fact that the cup of suffering is God’s will for him.

Does this kind of asking and waiting fit how we pray? If our prayer time with God is honest and sincere, it often changes us and moves us in a new direction. We see possibilities that we were blind to before. We receive a deeper capacity to face challenges that once seemed out of reach. Continued prayer assures us of God’s presence and affirms that our destiny is safe in his hands, whatever his will may be.

Christians are sometimes guilty of using the words “If it is God’s will” rather flippantly. But praying that God’s will be done is no easy matter. Our prayers must yield to God’s will, since that is the safest place to be.

PRAYER: Father, help me to truly seek your will as I pray. May your perfect will be accomplished in my life. In Christ, Amen.