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8 Days, 1 Story - Day 3: "Not my will, but yours be done"


 "With His prayer 'Yes, father' and the total surrender of His will, JESUS triumphed in the darkest night of temptation and suffering. Thus He showed us that by consenting to the will of God and committing ourselves to it, we too shall be led out of the darkness into the light of victory." -- posted at the entrance to the Garden of Gethsemane

Prayer. What is it? How would you define it? Some might define it as an "in awe, honorable conversation." I would describe prayer as a reverential connection, and the only safe place to disclose what is truly on my heart and soul. Webster’s Dictionary would define prayer as a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God.

While I look at these definitions and find them all to be true, I don’t think the most important question is “what is prayer?” but rather “how do we pray?” Jesus prayed. He prayed so hard that he literally was sweating blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. Luke gives us a perfect account of the sorrow and pain Jesus was feeling in that moment.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Luke 22:42-44

Have you ever reflected on that moment? I mean TRULY reflected? What was going through Jesus’ mind? He knew what was about to happen. I will never compare myself to Jesus, but sometimes I try to imagine myself in His place that night. I am in the garden, pleading with my Father. I am about to get betrayed by someone who was pretty close to me. This is my last moment of not feeling pain both physical and spiritual. How would I feel? I would feel the deepest sadness, worry, fear, and heartache. I would also surely be asking God to “take this cup from me.” And if I am being honest, one of the last phrases I would probably say would be “Your will be done.” But Jesus did, even when he felt such anguish. “Not my will, but yours be done.” He showed his Father every ounce of who He was during that prayer. Even when the outcome was not what the human side of Jesus wanted, He still said “Your will be done.” Now, if we are supposed to strive to be like Christ every day, shouldn’t we be praying like that? No matter where it leads? No matter what is about to happen?

Have you ever, really, prayed like that? "Not my will, but yours be done."

Amber Knieling, Welcome Ministries