Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Brave Prayer

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."
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." (Matthew 26:36-39 NIV)

Until I read this passage (for the umpteenth time) this morning, I had always considered it a phenomenal demonstration of courage for Jesus to pray the words "not as I will, but as you will." He knew exactly what his father's will was...that Jesus would go through the kangaroo court of the Sanhedrin, be publicly ridiculed and tortured by the Romans, and then nailed to a cross until he died...all while carrying the emotional/spiritual burden of all the sins of everyone in the whole world since the beginning of time until it all ends.

No wonder he didn't want to drink from that cup.

But this morning, I was floored by this thought: the really brave part of the prayer was "if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me."

There was Jesus, praying for something he knew was against the plan...taking the risk of being absolutely honest with his father...and trusting God to do the right thing.

Truth is...I sometimes pray what I think God wants to hear, instead of what's really real in my heart of hearts.

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