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Your Will Be Done

(The following is the February 4 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Matthew 26 and pay close attention to verses 36-46.)

Statue of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane; photo by Jeff Ross at Abbey of Gethsemani, Trappist, KY

It is good to align our will with God’s will and Scripture when we pray. However, we can deceive ourselves and project our will into prayers, assuming our will is God’s. Sometimes we should admit that we don’t know God’s will and that what we want may conflict with what God wants. On such occasions, we should pray as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Your will be done” (v. 42).

We cannot imagine what Jesus experienced that night. His crucifixion was hours away. As a human, he knew the pain that awaited him. As God’s Son, the second person of the eternal Trinity, he had never been separated from the Father. The thought of even a brief separation from the Father must have been unimaginable. He prayed, “My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me” (v. 39). Hear the anguish in Jesus’ voice as he cried this plea facedown in the garden. Then hear the faithful, surrendered prayer of the sinless Lamb of God: “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” We are neither weak nor negligent in praying, “Your will be done.” On the contrary, that may sometimes be the most faithful prayer of surrender we can utter as we genuinely seek God’s will rather than our own.

We do not have the Father’s wisdom or perspective from eternity past to eternity future. We do not know all he is doing in our personal lives, much less in the grand scheme of all humankind. He knows what is best, and his timing and will are perfect. We only know a tiny fraction of that, primarily through what he reveals in his Word. So never be ashamed to pray, “Your will be done.” It was a profound prayer of surrender for Jesus, and it can be so for us.

Next Step:

What area of your life is marked by uncertainty? Are there prayer concerns where you want to pray for a specific outcome but are unsure whether your will is also what God wants? Pray for the Lord’s will to be done in such matters. Ask that he conforms your will to his.

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