Theme of the Week: Prayer
Bible Verse: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
Scripture Reading: Mark 14:32-42
Jesus prayed a lot while He was here on earth. Most of that was spent in quietness and solitude, but some of it was recorded for us. He taught His disciples to pray. He prayed for them in John 17. He prayed before He ate and served food.
However, in my mind, the most significant prayer of all occurred on the night He was betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.
He knew what was about to happen. He knew that Judas had gone out to betray Him. He knew that His disciples would abandon Him. He knew that Peter would deny Him. He knew that He would be handed over to the chief priests who would mock Him, falsely accuse Him, beat Him and, ultimately, kill Him in a gruesome crucifixion. He knew that He would take the sins of the world on Himself and experience the forsakenness of His Father.
He knew all this. It was so heavy on His heart that His sweat was like great drops of blood.
And then He prayed.
His prayer is simple and yet powerful.
Firstly, He acknowledges that His Father could do anything; all things were possible. He knew that if God wanted to, He could remove the suffering that Jesus was about to endure.
Secondly, He declares His own will; He does not want to go through the suffering. He asks His Father to remove the cup from Him. He doesn’t put on a brave face; He simply tells it like it is in pure and raw honesty. His desires are different in that moment of grief than His Father’s desires.
But then lastly, He says eight words that changed the course of the world, the course of my life and your life. He says, “Yet not my will but Yours be done.”
In that powerful act of surrender, Jesus entrusted Himself to the Father’s plans and went to the cross.
We will not always understand the will of the Father, but will we, in faith, surrender ourselves to that will believing in His perfect love for us?
Prayer: Lord, I am in awe of Your surrendered will. I want to be more like You. I want to have Your attitude and focus with everything in my life. It is true, I do not understand all Your ways and there are times when You ask me to do things I simply do not want to do. I try to argue with You. I try to prove my point to You. Instead, help me to be like You and say, “Yet not my will but Yours be done.” In the end, that is where my joy and life is. Thank you for showing me how it is done. Thank you for going to the cross so that I might have eternal life. You are my greatest treasure. I will trust You. Amen.
Reflection: What is God asking of you these days that you don’t want to surrender to? Is He asking you to give more than you have before? Is He asking you to forgive someone who has really hurt you? Is He asking you to go and share His love with a person or a people that are difficult? What eight words will you say to Him?
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