If you were God for the day, what would you change in the world?
It’s easy to think of Jesus a little like you would a superhero. They are always powerful and never afraid of anything. They just bring out their powers and save the world and live to fight another day. Just don’t wear a cape otherwise it can all go wrong (yes, the Incredibles is still one of my favourite films).
But here we see something a little different. It’s not that Jesus isn’t powerful or that he is afraid of what lies ahead, but we see a glimpse of his prayer time. He is all alone, as the disciples have all fallen asleep (they probably ate too much). He prays that God would, if he is willing, take the cup from him. There is no literal cup in front of him at the moment – it’s a cup of suffering. He knows what lies ahead. He knows it is going to be hard. He is going to have to suffer. It’s going to hurt. His superpowers will not stop it from happening, or from being painful.
Despite this, despite all that he knows will happen, he still prays that God’s will would happen, and not his own. It’s a humble prayer of knowing God is in control. That the pain and difficulty and horrendous night and day ahead of him are a step on the path leading to freedom for all of us.
An angel comes and gives him strength. He continues in prayer, and it’s tough. It’s a bit like wrestling with God, and the passage says his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. It’s the only way he can be prepared for what lies ahead. Prayer isn’t just saying words and looking holy in the process. It’s a relationship and a conversation at the very least, and sometimes a bit of a battle to align ourselves with God’s will and purposes for us.
Lord God, thank you for Jesus, and that he obeyed you and gave all he had for us. Help us to pray like he did, to connect with you about the things that really matter and to align ourselves to your will and purposes. Amen.
What are the things that really matter to you at the moment? Are you ready to pray “yet not my will, but yours be done?” Why not spend some time praying through them?