As I was reading this familiar verse the other day, I begun to reflect upon the way that I speak to our Heavenly Father in prayer. I recognize that in my prayer life there are times where my heart's attention moves from the amazing gift we have in dialogue with our God, to a place where prayer becomes a wishlist or shopping list if you may. "I want this... a little of this... and some more of this" with maybe a please and thank you for good measure.
What a contrast to my Jesus' prayer!
When I think about Jesus in the garden, completely aware of what was to come for Him, and look at His prayer I am struck by its selflessness and open-handedness... not surprised, rather, reminded by my teacher.
How often is prayer for me about my own desires and I forget to acknowledge what Jesus did and do the same. Our God hears our prayers, He knows our hearts, but we must look to His will and what He sees versus what what we see and know. I don't know about you, but it feels like I need this reminder more than I would like.
He is working for our good! How good is that news? Are you in the midst of a storm where you are struggling to see a way out? He knows and His will is for your good... the tension can be that He works for our good and His will not our wants and that is important for us to acknowledge.
Jesus actually teaches prayer for His will in another well known spot when He says to the disciples in Matthew 6:9-13...
Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Until the other day, I don't know that I ever made the connection between the model of Jesus teaching prayer and Jesus modelling it for us. The challenge for me, and maybe for you too, is to make this practice of praying for the will of the Father throughout our prayer lives. I invite you to start today with me...
Open our minds, our eyes, and our hearts to your will Jesus. Help us to realize again and again that your will will be done and we can celebrate that as you work for our good in all things. Jesus we acknowledge our desires and prayers can be selfish and we turn from that only with your help. We pray to see the world as you do so we might be able to serve and love others as you desire for us. Thank you Father that you see the whole picture and that you love us so much - even to the cross. Let our response to you be a reflection of the love you teach us.