This is a time of year that is ripe for reflections on those that have followed God’s call to be shepherds. We (at least I know I do as well as those that mentor me) often look to the example of Jesus in all we do. How we disciple, how we discipline, how we preach, how we teach and how we even pray all come from how the Son did all of those things. What I spend hours reflecting on is the latter of those things during this time of year.
Jesus prayed that hard prayer. His disciples already know He is the Son of God and is a deity in flesh. Does God really need our help to pray? Yet, He asked for it as he did of those followers (Matt 26:36). He even carried His closest three friends deeper into the garden to pray hoping their presence would assist Him in this hour of need. Did the God part of Jesus need this support? I would think not. Yet, we believe He was also fully man and that flesh part does need support. Its why we often look to a body of believers for help with prayer requests. The book of Matthew (26:36-46) describes the frustration He had with His friends as they slept His hour of need away. Luke describes His stress was so heavy that He cried tears of blood (22:44). That is some tough praying right there! As it seems, these drops are only the first of many He will shed for our sins and transgressions.
Take a moment and think of the agony and frustration wrapped into that time of prayer. Maybe someone reading this has had or is in similar times of agonizing prayer. We may or may not know what lies ahead. We get frustrated that those who we consider close to us do not prioritize the anguish we are experiencing. The flesh side of Jesus desired the pressure (or in His words the “cup”) to be taken. The God side knew this must happen to confirm prophesy and save souls like yours and mine. Jesus finished His prayer with the words: “Not my will but yours be done.”
Ponder what that means for a moment.
Even if it hurts me, God’s will be done. Even if it requires a sacrifice. If it costs some of those comforts I am used to. If it gives me something I do not want. Not my will but yours be done, Father.
See friends, Jesus did not make this up. He originally taught His disciple how to pray and used the same context as He taught in Matthew 6. “Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” His will here as He would have it in heaven. This is the hard prayer.
Are you praying the hard prayer? Would you like someone to be awake and pray alongside? Let your body of believers pray with you. But, be willing to submit to His will, whatever that may be.