With Christ in the School of Prayer

Day 28 – Christ the Sacrifice

“And He said, ‘Abba, Father, everything is possible for You; take this cup from me. Yet not what I want, but what You want.'” — Mark 14:36.

In the narrative of Gethsemane, we witness a moment in the life of Jesus Christ rich in spiritual meaning that presents a pivotal lesson on prayer and submission to God’s will. Here, Christ, facing imminent suffering and death, exemplifies the ultimate sacrifice – the surrender of one’s own will to the Divine.

Christ’s prayer in Gethsemane, “Not what I want, but what You want,” marks a stark contrast from His earlier prayer as the High Priest. It is in this moment of vulnerability that Jesus reveals the essence of true prayer and sacrifice. He, who could command legions of angels, chose to submit His will to the Father, teaching us the truth that in prayer, submission to God’s will is paramount.

This lesson from Gethsemane resonates deeply for anyone striving to master the art of prayer. It teaches us that the foundation of prayer is not in demanding our desires but in aligning our will with God’s. Jesus, in His human frailty, expressed His desire to avoid suffering, yet He concluded with a total submission to the Father’s plan. His prayer was not answered in the way He initially requested, but it was fulfilled in a manner that accomplished a greater purpose.

The sacrifice of Jesus in Gethsemane goes beyond the physical pain He endured; it encompasses the relinquishing of His will, an act that adds immeasurable value to His subsequent sacrifice on Calvary. This act of obedience is what grants us the confidence in the power and effectiveness of our prayers. Jesus, through His submission, obtained for us the privilege to approach God with our requests, assured that our prayers are heard.

In contemplating Gethsemane, we observe three truths: the presentation of the cup of suffering to Jesus, His earnest plea to avoid it, and His ultimate acceptance of God’s will. This progression from request to submission mirrors our journey in prayer. As we align our desires with God’s will, we learn to trust that His plans, though sometimes incomprehensible, are always for our ultimate good.

Word in Action

Today, let us reflect on our approach to prayer. Are we seeking to impose our will upon God, or are we genuinely seeking to align our desires with His? Let us emulate Christ’s example in Gethsemane by surrendering our will to God in our prayers, trusting in His perfect plan for our lives.

Wonder in the Word

In what areas of your life do you find it most challenging to say, “Not what I want, but what You want”? How can the lesson of Christ’s submission in Gethsemane help you in surrendering these areas to God?