I want to look at the context of Matthew 26. Yesterday we looked at when Jesus is telling his disciples to watch and pray so they do not fall into temptation.
This story is set in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus has gone here to pray to God to take the cup from him, and there is another way to have His will done, for that to happen instead.
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
He is referring to his upcoming fate of being crucified on the cross. He knows what is coming, but still rather avoid the pain he can.
There are 3 attributes of Jesus prayer than we should try to remember to pray during trouble and sorrow.
- Jesus admitted his emotion out loud, and he didn’t try to “cheer himself up” or pretend to feel something different. He was honest with how he felt, and approached God with that vulnerability and transparency.
I love how human Jesus is in the moment, expressing his overwhelming anguish and sorrow.
My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Matthew 26:38
- He ask’s for a way for God’s will to be done without all of the pain and suffering. In our own lives, we endure suffering because we know that we are growing as a result, but Jesus gives us the confidence that it is ok to pray to ask God to take away needless pain and suffering.
Then he goes into asking God if there is another way for his promise to be delivered he rather do that instead.
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me
- Despite preferring another way to the fulfill the promise that God has for him, Jesus acknowledges that ultimately God’s will will be done. Not only does Jesus understand this, but he is willing to be used for God’s purposes and His glory (willing to endure hard times know for a greater reward later)
But ultimately restating his obedience to endure whatever his Father’s will is.
Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
The beautiful thing about sacrifice is that it wasn’t just for him, his willingness to lay down his desires provided a great benefit for future generations.
That’s the thing about suffering through something, we know that when we suffer a greater good, purpose or reason coming out of it.
Not only so, but we[ also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4
How do these attributes change the way you approach prayer? What is the benefit of showing emotion in prayer? Asking for God to “remove the cup” in prayer? Praying God’s will and remaining open and obedient to His way?