Reading: Mark 14:36
On Wednesdays this summer, our campers will be studying the church year season of Lent. The alternate texts for Day 3, “Living in Lent,” are the entire passion stories in Mark and Luke. One of the faith practices we will emphasize that day is prayer. So, I am drawn today to Mark 14:36.
(Jesus in Gethsemane) said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me. Yet not what I want, but what you want.”
Facing almost certain death, Jesus turned to prayer. He knew full well that God could avert history. And that was a welcome thought. How Jesus must have wanted to accomplish His mission without the suffering and agony that surely lay before him. Things were not going well. So, He prayed that the Father would save him from the next hours. He let God know about His wishes. And then prayed “Yet not what I want, but what you want.”
I think that is a very good model for our prayer life. Don’t hold back. Let God know exactly how you feel, what you are thinking, how you envision things turning out. Unleash all the emotion you are experiencing. Argue with God all you want. As I said, don’t hold back. That’s part 1 of our prayers.
Here is part 2. “Yet not what I want, but what you want.” We have the advantage of knowing how God dealt with Jesus’ suffering and death. So we can pray confidently, “Your will be done.” The way we would like things to go, may or may not be the way God wants things to go. We know and trust that Father knows best.
So, pray with me: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done. Amen. --Jim Bricker, Camp Mount Luther Summer Chaplain to the Staff
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