For the past week or so, I’ve been encouraged to pray like Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane: honest, vulnerable, submissive.
Jesus asked his Father, “If you are willing, let this cup pass from me.” Even in making this raw, human request borne of fear and pain, Jesus did not sin.
Because he immediately followed it with, “Nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done.”
It’s in that ‘Nevertheless’ that the Lord has been calling me to live lately. He’s shown me that being submissive to His will doesn’t mean not having desires and plans of my own. It means submitting to His will over mine. He’s also shown me that often, I don’t want to have desires and plans of my own because I wonder, “What if they don’t happen? I don’t want to get my hopes up.”
Praying like Jesus means letting my desires, passions, dreams, and longings burn without being stifled. Living raw and vulnerable, knowing that I could get hurt and things could turn out differently than I request. Asking anyway. Trusting that no matter what happens, God always brings good out of bad, nothing can quench His love for me and He is more than sufficient for every need.
It’s actually a good thing that God doesn’t always grant us our requests. If He had granted Jesus his request, we would not have a Savior. It’s a comforting thought that even if I pray these prayers of desire and surrender and am left with God’s will instead of my own, even if His will looks horrible and hurtful and filled with pain, He has a purpose. God bends all of this world’s fallenness and all of Satan’s moves into His own purposes. He wins.
“My God in his steadfast love will meet me. He will let look in triumph upon my enemies.”
“This God, his way is perfect – the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield to all those who take refuge in him.”