Not my will

Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane has inspired and haunted me for as long as I have been a Christian.

In great suffering, he appeals to the Father to take away the crucifixion which he is about to go through.  I think he knows that his father will turn away his face from him when all the sin of the world is heaped upon him at Calvary.  He is horrified.

But he says the great words: “Yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22: 42)

Some years ago, a friend of mine prayed the same prayer when he heard that he had cancer.  In his heart, he wanted to be healed.  But he did not pray for healing.

Instead, he prayed that God’s will be done in the last days of his life.  He asked for courage and for the opportunity to reach friends and family for God through his suffering.  His prayers were answered.  His funeral was packed with people who were touched by his life.

I hear stories like this and I am inspired.  But, then, I ask myself about the cost of seeking God’s will and not my own.

Like most North Americans, I like comfort.  I enjoy feeding my own desires – whether they are good or bad.

But I am convinced that seeking and following God’s will is essential to spiritual fruit that will last.

Sometimes, it is easy to see what God’s will is.  God does not want me to be captured by sin, so I must turn away from it.

Sometimes, it is harder to tell.  Are you helping or hurting a person by constantly catering to his or her demands?  It may be hard to judge if the individual is sick and helpless and yet the demands seem unreasonable.

But there is a great deal in my life where I can easily see what God’s will is.  I need simply look at scripture and compare it with my life.

Praying that God’s will be done begins with my own life.  Then, it spreads out to the world.

In my reading of scripture, God uses our prayers to bring about change in people and societies.  But we must be praying according to his will.

Once we’re on this path, prayer becomes exciting. 

 

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