“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
Jesus is talking about the cross, but we have all had or will have that “cup” we wish to be taken from us. It’s a major thing in our life we desperately want God to remove. It’s easy to pray “Father, take this cup from me,” but do we have the guts to add the rest of the verse in our prayer? “Yet not my will, but yours be done”
For those of us who have seen things turn out not the way we wanted, the end of this prayer can be extremely difficult.
I used to think praying “God, your will be done” was a little bit of a cop-out prayer. Maybe “cop-out” is too harsh to describe what I mean, but I thought it was a safe prayer that people prayed when they were afraid to ask God for the impossible things. To put faith in and believe God will do the specific, outrageous, crazy things we want or need.
Oh, I think there are still some out there who loosely throw that phrase in a prayer wishing for the best. But five years ago, when my sister came up missing for six weeks and I prayed that she would be found safe and alive and then wasn’t, I learned that His will and my will aren’t always the same.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8
Sometimes, His will can be followed by a trial, struggle, or even heartache. It’s not that God isn’t good and does things just to hurt us. It’s simply that we cannot see the whole picture. I only see me, God sees everything. He knows the beginning to the end. And there’s no possible way for me to understand it all.
But God loves us more than we can imagine. And if His will turns out to be a time of struggle or heartache, He can and will use it for good.
Now, I’m not saying it was His will for my sister to get killed or for any of the other evil happening in the world today. It’s absolutely not. His intention was for us to live with Him, protected and safe. Just to be with Him. But we changed all that in the beginning with Adam and Eve. He gave us free will and we made the wrong choice.
But praying, truly praying, “God, Your will be done. Whatever the outcome is, I want Your will in my life” is an act of pure faith. It’s a sacrificial prayer. Letting go of what you so desperately want, and giving it to Him. It’s trusting Him, even if…. even if it turns out painful.
It’s all about unwavering trust in God and His ways and plans.
So, as I face the “cup” I so desperately wish to be taken from me, I’m crying out to God, “Please, take this cup from me,” but I’m also adding, “yet not my will, but Your’s be done.” It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I know this is something I have to do, and then I have to allow God do the rest. It is not for me to control.
Oh, I still believe in those specific, impossible, outrageous prayers. You absolutely should be praying for these things because he says in Ephesians God can do more than we can ask or imagine, but I also believe there’s room for us to pray “Yet, Your will be done”.
When this is prayed with a humble, not a fearful or complacent heart, praying for God’s will is another step closer to Him.
Jesus, Himself, specifically taught us to pray “Your will be done” in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:10), so when we do this wholeheartedly, it’s got to be something pretty big in our Christian walk, right?