Jesus’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane has been on my mind for the last couple of weeks. It really started when our community suffered a tragedy when a furniture store in Wayne exploded from an apparent natural-gas leak. It happened on a Wednesday morning, and as of church service that evening, they were still looking for two people. The prognosis was not good, so the thought arose, “Should we pray for a miracle and that they would be both found alive?”
My concern with these types of prayers is that often well-meaning Christian will say to those who are in a trial and facing great odds, “Well, I prayed about it and KNOW that God will answer our prayer, etc.” The problem with this is that we don’t know how God will choose to answer. The prophet Isaiah tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
So then, when faced with these types of situations, how should we pray. As I discussed this with our church during prayer meeting, the Lord Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane came to mind. We know that Jesus was the God-man. As Dr. Raymond Barber used to tell us in Bible College, “Jesus was just as much God as though He never was man. Yet, just as much man as though He never was God. He was the God-man.” Jesus was coming to the time of His crucifixion, and knowing what was before Him rayed these faithful words in Luke 22:42, “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Jesus recognized the enormity of the task at hand, and knew the pain and agony that He must go through in taking upon Himself the entire wrath of God for the sins of man. So, even though He knew in His flesh what He must go through, He prayed for the Father’s will to be done.
Now, how should that affect our prayers today? Well, in the face of great odds I believe it is not only right, but Scriptural to pray for God to do a miracle. But, we must always lay beside our desire and submit to the Father’s will for that particular situation. So, on that night, we prayed that if it would be the Father’s will, that those two people would be found alive. But whatever the answer was, we would glorify our Heavenly Father. So, when faced with impossible situations, we should pray and ask our hearts desire, but all the time realizing that the Father’s Plan will come to pass and we will glorify Him in all that He does.
Heavenly Father, we come before you today thanking you that you are a loving Father who hears our prayers and petitions. We may not always understand and know why we go through the trials and tribulations that we do, but we know you never leave us nor forsake us in these times of difficulty. Help is Lord to always submit ourselves to your will, so that you may be honored and glorified in every aspect of our lives no matter how you chose to answer our prayers. We are so thankful to know that even when we may not understand, we know that in your time you make all things work together for good when we love you and follow your purpose for our lives. Give us the strength to continue on when we don’t understand why, and draw us closer to you by your Grace. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.