Learning to Pray

“Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me. 
Yet not My will, but Yours be done.”  Luke 22:42

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“Oh God, please heal my daughter!” 

“Lord, if you are willing, don’t let me get fired.” 

“Oh, Father in heaven, please let me marry Jordan in fourth hour!” 

Heaven resounds with billions of desperate pleas by people like us. Many of them were answered; many were not. Most of those prayers did not end the way Jesus’ prayer ended, and that’s why God couldn’t answer them the way we prayed them. Aren’t you glad you didn’t marry Jordan in fourth hour? And aren’t we glad Jesus was willing to go to the cross anyway? Jesus laid His request before the Father, but He kept praying until His will matched God’s.

In those few words, Jesus gave us a model for our prayer life. He passionately made a request of His Father, but He didn’t stop there. We usually stop there. We think we’re showing faith if we lay our request before God and walk away. Jesus didn’t think so. He knew that what His flesh wanted did not line up with what His Spirit wanted. So He left the decision with God. He kept praying until He could agree with God’s choice. 

We must do that too. We may not want “Thy will be done” the first ten times we fall on our faces and cry out for help. That’s why we must keep going back, like Jesus did, until our hearts are aligned with His. Only then can we cooperate with God’s plan. And we are forever grateful that He did not go along with ours.


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