Today’s Reading: Luke 22:35-53 (additional reading: Psalm 94:1-23 & Proverbs 14:3-4)
Having just been betrayed by a close friend and knowing that his accusers were coming to take Him to His death, Jesus got alone to pray. How He prayed that night gives us insight into how we should pray when we experience times of deep anguish and pain.
1. Acknowledge that ultimately, God is in control of your situation. The relationship was right. The first thing that Jesus did when He began to pray was acknowledge that God was ultimately in control of His situation.
2. Accept the fact that God may not answer your prayer. there are going to be times when prayer will NOT change what’s going to happen. I mean, God can do whatever He wants to do, and He can change whatever He desires to change yet sometimes He has a bigger purpose. We’ve all prayed that God would open a door and it was closed. We’ve all prayed that God would bless us with fill-in-the-blank-whatever…and He didn’t. Those unanswered prayers can turn us into bitter people and drive us away from God if we let them. But I want you know something. Jesus knows exactly how that feels. He knows exactly what it feels like when your soul is torn and you wish God would rescue you and you pray with all your heart…and God doesn’t answer. Jesus knows exactly how you feel. As he prayed in Gethsemane, He knew that God probably wasn’t going to answer His prayer. And in fact, God didn’t.
3. Humble yourself to accept to His answer. Did Jesus think His prayer would change His destiny? Did Jesus believe that there was some other way to get the job done? I don’t think so because sometimes the result of prayer isn’t that things change, but we do. You’ve probably heard the old saying that, “prayer changes things.” That’s true, but way of thinking about prayer is that “prayer changes me.”
4. Leave the result of your prayer up to God. And then, Jesus left the result of his prayer up to God. He left Himself completely at the will of His Father. Do you?
5. Keep on praying. (Verse 43) Jesus kept on praying. I think we give up on praying too early a lot of times. Why should you keep on praying? Well, because God can handle it. You’re not bugging Him. But more than that, remember, prayer changes us. And the more time we spend in prayer, the more time we spend staying close to God, the more we will be changed. The more prepared we will be for our prayer to be answered or to not be answered.