Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Luke 22: 39-51
Test; Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from ye; yet not my will but yours be done. (vs. 42, bold is writer’s emphasis)
Many of you are familiar with the ACTS prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. In teaching new people to take Jesus seriously I add an additional S; Submission. Submission is the most difficult part of the prayer.
It is relatively easy to offer petitions of Adoration to God, especially when we consider the blessings, both great and small, that we have received in a given day or in our lifetime. Confession is a bit harder because, especially in our culture today, we do not like to admit that we did something wrong. We see confession of guilt or error as a sign of weakness. But, if we remember Paul’s insight into the human condition, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Confession becomes a bit easier. Thanksgiving, like Adoration is easy if we just take the time to count our blessings, as the old hymn says, “one by one.” And we are experts at Supplication. We’ve been doing it from childhood and became embolden upon Santa’s knee when he asked, “What do you want for Christmas?” Yes, we are experts at these four petitions.
But Submission, well that is another story. This is the hardest petition because we are asking God to do His will even at our expense. And yet, Submission is at the very heart of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden before His crucifixion.“If it be possible,” He prayed, “let this cup pass from my lips; but not My will but Thy will be done.”
Can you trust in the Goodness of God even if you do not get what you pray for? Can you trust in God’s Grace even if your dreams, plans and desires go unfulfilled? This is the true test of discipleship, of taking Jesus seriously? It is to pray at Jesus prayed, “not My will but Thy will be done.”
I do not know if your can or can not but I do know this, I continue to struggle. And in the struggle, I’m getting a little better.
Lord, despite all of my wishes and prayers, not my will buy Thy will be done. Amen.