Read Matt 26:36-56
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” (Mat 26:36-42)
What a great wonder this is! The Son of God, the Son of Man is praying. You might think, “What does Jesus need to pray for, he is God”? As God you might also think, “God gets everything he wants, right?” Ah, but look at the lesson Jesus is teaching us.
First, if Jesus prays, don’t you think that perhaps you might need to pray also? Are you greater than the Son of God who sees the need to pray and does so? As human you were designed by your Maker to pray. It is an ontological necessity. Jesus being truly human needs to pray. To not pray is to deny one’s humanity. It is also important to pray to the right God. Jesus prays to the Father, who is the only true God. We are promised to if we pray to the Father in Jesus’ name, i.e. with faith in Jesus, he will listen to us.
We should learn from this also that not even Jesus gets what he wants in prayer. Jesus wants there to be another way. The end desire is the same as the Father, our salvation. But if we could be saved another way, Jesus would like that to be done. Are our end desires the same as the Father? We probably should compare our desires to that of the Father found in his Word.
Note then that Jesus submits his will to the Father’s will. Not my will but yours be done he prays. Now where He gives us a promise in the scriptures we may will all boldness demand of God in our prayers that he fulfill his promises. But even then like Jesus we must submit our will to his. We cannot demand of God to do things our way, manner, time, amount etc.. And where we don’t a direct promise from God concerning the content of our prayer how much more so should we pray with Jesus, “Not my will but your will be done.” James reminds us, “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”(Jas 4:15) Finally, our prayers should not be selfish prayers. We should not only pray for ourselves. Note the words in the Lord’s prayer-Our, us, Thy, and Thine. We don’t pray me, myself, mine and I.
Lord Jesus Christ, give us faith to pray in such a way that we pray according to your good and gracious will and we submit ourselves in all we pray for according to the will of the Father. Amen.