Sunday, March 20, 2016

His "No" Was Our "Yes"

How then shall we pray?


I love The Lord's Prayer for many reasons. It is a template for who we are, and Who God is. It informs our hearts of our position with God and our dependence on Him for our every need. And it reminds us of His greatest commandment:  to love Him first -- and the second commandment, which is like the first, to love and forgive each other. It is a centering prayer for me.

Prayers of desperation...

That being said, my "go to" prayer is often the Gethsemane prayer (Matthew 26:39) which goes something like this:

"Father, I know that you can do absolutely anything."
"Father, here is what I desperately want..."
"Father... but what I want even more -- is what You want." 

On that night in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus pleaded with His Father to release Him from His fate to die on a cross, He probably knew that the answer had to be "No". But His anguish was so great, and the temptation to seek a way out was so overwhelming, that He asked to be delivered from it -- not once -- but three times.

The process of praying. 


I have often wondered why Jesus had to beg His Father three times to change His mind and find another way to save the world -- and then it dawned on me. In His humanity, Jesus had to go through exactly what I go through: Accepting God's will is often a process.

Sometimes we must be gently coerced into what God has for us. And sometimes, we are asked to die to ourselves by not getting what we want -- so that our Father can use us for some greater good. And we may never know what it is.

The 'worst-day-of-your-life' prayer. 


During this Holy Week as you remember the worst day in the life of our Savior -- the night He suffered the worst "No" imaginable to His prayer to the Father -- hold you little "no's" loosely, and remember what an amazing "YES!" His "no" created for you, and for me.

Prayer: more than a consumer tool.


The Gethsemane prayer will help to move your relationship with God from a "consumer tool" (to get what you want) to a trusting Father-child relationship that puts His plan first, and your earthly desires second. When we do this, we can rest assured that we are living in the center of His will. There, and only there, is where you will experience the peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)

Jesus took our sins and our punishment upon Himself in the most incredible act of love and obedience ever known. And it all happened for our benefit when God said "no" to the prayer request of the One He loved the most. Think about that the next time you don't get what you think you want.

When we rest in the gift of His Presence and the knowing assurance that we are forever safe in Him, we are always better off than we could ever imagine. But it was bought for us at a great price.

"Good" doesn't even come close to what this Friday means for Jesus-followers. But Sunday is best of all.  

We are alive because He lives!

I have a song for everything: "Forever" by Kari Jobe; "Man of Sorrows" by Hillsong UNITED

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pin It button on image hover