And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
Too often, perhaps, we forget the “nevertheless” part in our own prayers. We are good at telling God what we want. We even believe Him for it. But then maybe we disregard the fact that it must be His will to give it. God said no to Jesus. He couldn’t take away the cup like Jesus had asked because there was no other way for His purpose to be fulfilled, for the plan of salvation to be complete. This was God’s will for His Son, and so it must be accomplished.
So will we come to our heavenly Father with this kind of prayer, a prayer like the one Jesus made? This wasn’t a faithless act for Jesus to come to His Father with this prayer. It was not out of weakness or doubt. He knew that God could do anything, the hardest, most impossible things. It was simply a cry from the depths of His heart, a desperate plea, but ultimately it was submission and surrender. Will we be willing to accept whatever answer He will give us, even if it is “no”? Will we conform our requests to His will instead of our own?
God always invites us to bring our requests before Him. He promises to hear us. He wants us to share our needs with Him and have fellowship with Him in prayer. He asks us to share our hearts with Him. But He makes no guarantee that He will answer every request the way we want it to be answered. It’s not like going to a store and picking out exactly what we want. It’s going to the Master Designer with our idea of what we want but letting Him do as He pleases with it and work in it in His own way. So ultimately we just have to trust Him.
What desperate plea do we have on our hearts just now? What anguished request might we make of our Father? What repeated cry would we bring before Him? God knows just what to do with any of those things we would bring to Him. His answer may not be what we want to hear, but we know that whatever His will, it is best for us. We know He still loves us even if He has to tell us no. We know He is still a good God even if we don’t understand why He’s doing what He’s doing. So let us be willing to go before the Lord only asking for His will to be done.