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Luke 22_39-46 Prayer of Relinquishment-112507-stevens

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Luke 22:39-46

Billy Stevens

First Baptist Church Houma

November 25, 2007

[Preached Sunday after Thanksgiving – Steve is on vacation]

** Introducing – The Word for You Today Devotional – first issue.

Luke 22:39-46 (NKJV)
(39) Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. (40) When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (41) And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, (42) saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (43) Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. (44) And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (45) When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. (46) Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”


a.   Types of problems.  [what]

a.1.      relationship

a.2.      personal

a.3.      external problems

b.   Purpose of these problems?  Why?

b.1.            You might know the goodness of God.  Rom 8:28

b.2.            You might be made like Jesus Christ.  Rom 8:29

(Rom 8:28-29 NKJV)  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

{29} For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

c.   When do these problems occur?

c.1.      when you least expect them

c.2.      when you expect them the greatest.  

c.3.      anywhere in between.

d.   Duration - How long?

- How long is this going to take place in my life?

-  Until the accomplishment of God's specific purpose of this specific problem in your life. 

e.  Source of these problems? [where]

e.1.            Life -  some things are just part of life.  From death to the common cold, some things are not escapable. 

e.2.            Enemies (Satan and the world)

e.3.            Others - imposed upon us by someone else.

e.3.            Our self -  our own creation.

e.4.            God - a providential problem that is designed for a specific purpose.  In all actuality all of the above could fit under this source.  Nothing happens without the knowledge and approval of God.  There is nothing that comes into your life that surprises God.  There is nothing that has come into your life that God did not allow or possibly even send to you for a specific purpose.


f.    Our Biggest Problem - the way we handle problems.

Problems and situations will arise in our lives, that we are incapable of handling. 

The times we try to handle problems on our own, we fail miserably.  The more we try to handle these problems on our own, the more it grows.  What used to be a molehill of a problem, now has grown into a mountain of hardened granite that has dangerous and jagged cliffs.   We now realize, we have turned something that could have possibly been handled easily and now have created a monster.  The little kitten of a problem has turned into a hungry ferocious tiger capable of ripping us to shreds if we do not do something quickly.

There are people here today that probably feel like they are about to be ripped to shreds by a ferocious problem in their lives.  You don't know what to do, where to turn, or how to handle it.  Your efforts have possibly caused a greater problem.  You are at your wits end.  


a.   Others are going through similar situations.

b.   Others are going through greater problems than you ever thought about going through. 

ILL.   I can be a very competitive person and my dad told me time and again - "do the best you can but remember there will always be someone better than you".  Someone stronger, someone smarter, someone quicker.  You may sit on top of the hill for a moment, but someone is coming to get that spot.   

The opposite is also true.  You will always have difficult problems to face at various times and stages in your life.  But remember, there is always someone that is going through a darker valley and has deeper hurts than you. 


a.   Fully human and limited Himself to humanity's realm.

b.   Relationship problems - all his disciples abandoned Him.

c.   Personal hurts and pains.

d.   Tempted in every way as we are tempted.

      - yet He did not sin.

e.   He had the greatest problem to overcome - the redemption of humanity. 

- He had to face the sin of all the people of the whole world of all time.

- He took the punishment for my sins and your sins upon himself. 

- God requires that each person must pay for their sins,  and that payment is death and separation from Holy God in a literal burning hell. 

- Jesus took God's punishment for your sins, my sins, and all the individuals' sins  that has ever lived or ever will live - upon Himself. 

- The wrath of God was poured out upon God's own Son, Jesus Christ so that individuals could come into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. 

- Isaiah 53 tells us that Jesus was the Sacrifice for our Sins.

- He was our Substitution, he went in our place, in our stead.

- He took the Penalty for our Sins.  Jesus' death was wonderful example of love, but it was the punishment of God upon Jesus for your sins and mine.  He paid our price. 

- The One who knew no sin, was made sin for us. 

(2 Cor 5:21 NASB)  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Through Jesus Christ's sacrifical substitutional death on the cross, He secured…

- the payment of the debt of our sins

- the forgiveness of our sins

Jesus had to face the Cross so we could have the opportunity to not face eternal death and separation from God in a devil's hell. 

Jesus had to face the betrayal, abandonment,  false trials, mockings, scorning, torture, beatings, scourging, humiliation, and not to mention death on the most hideous vilest means of torturous execution - the Roman cross. 

The Roman Cross -  a humiliating, degrading execution.  Men would sometimes live for up to three days on the cross.  People passed by and laughed, mocked, and derided Jesus - the Living God upon the cross.   The created mocking and deriding the Creator.  The unholy speaking ill of the Holy One of Israel. 

Jesus Faced a Monumental Task, the Redemption of mankind.

We see His struggle with the Will of the Father in Luke 22:39-46, the passage about the Garden of Gethsemane.

Not only do we see the full humanity of Christ displayed before us, we see the principles for the solution all Christians' problems. 

D.  Sometime in your life you may face a “Dark Night of the Soul”

The dark night of the soul where joy and light have given way to sorrow and darkness.

The darkness surrounds you, closes in on you, and you think you cannot breath because of the crushing weight of this dread.

The darkness separates you from all you know as comfort and encouragement – nothing helps now, everything is loss, you would willingly trade everything you have for this darkness to pass.

The dark night of the soul where you don’t know when it will ever end. You have been thrust upon this lightless path and you are being carried along as if by the mob who took Jesus and carried Him to be falsely tied and then crucified.

The dark night of the soul comes upon you suddenly – you didn’t even know it was coming.

The dark night of the soul can come upon you slowly – you see it from a long ways off and fear and boding come to haunt you.

The dark night of the soul where you weep until you can’t weep anymore.

The dark night of the soul where you are weary from calling out to God to intervene.

The dark night of the soul where time seems to stand still.  It is as if there is no end, and the pain lasts and lasts, and lasts – the clock just doesn’t move. It is as if everything just drags along. 

The dark night of the soul where you can’t see tomorrow – you don’t think there is any hope and you are unsure of what tomorrow will bring. The night frightens you because you don’t know what will come upon you in the darkness.

Your thoughts are in a million places

You feel helpless to act

You emotions are painfully ripped to shreds, and shattered.


Fear seems to have killed your faith.

t.s. So how do we handle these times in our life?

Jesus gave us the example of how we should respond to these type of difficult problems.

It is called the “Prayer of Relinquishment”

It is God’s truths for our lives in how we should handle life.

It is principles for giving God your problems and allowing Him to reign and rule in your life.

1.  Go to your Place of Prayer

Luke 22:39-46 (NKJV) Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. (40) When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (41) And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,

[Mark 1:35 (NKJV)  Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.]

a.   Specific place

b.   Away from the distractions of world

c.   Where you can be Alone with God

d.   Place where you can cry out and express your whole heart

to God without hindrance.

e.   Customary place - not only visited when there is a problem.

f.    Comfortable place -  knelt down

Daily Quiet time

This needs to become a habit in your life.

We are providing a daily devotional to help you in this process.

Unless you begin to allow God to work in your life on a daily basis, you will never survive the Dark Night of the Soul.

Unless you allow God to guide you through daily dilemmas, you will never be able to allow God to guide you through the dark valleys of life.

Open the Bible – read it daily – pray daily – listen to God.

Allow God to speak to you – Open your Bible and pray “Father, help me to know you and your Son the Lord Jesus Christ.”





2.  Approach God Properly

Matthew 26:39 (NKJV)  He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

A.  Through Relationship – Abba, Father

B. Not through Works / Membership

God isn’t going to do anything for you because you think you are someone.

God isn’t going to do anything for you because you were class prez in high school, the beauty queen, the athletic hero, the greatest intellect, or you are the richest man in town today.

He will only hear you as you come to Him in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

John 1:12 (NKJV)  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

This personal relationship has a beginning point.

It begins when you RECEIVE Jesus Christ into your life.

It begins when you turn from your way of running your life and ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life.

It begins when you stop believing in other things for salvation and turn to ONLY Jesus’ death upon the cross for payment for your sins.






3.  Acknowledge the Sovereignty of God

Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

"if You are willing"

a.   God is Almighty.  All Powerful - All Knowing - All Present. 

Nothing can Stop His Purposes and Plans.

b.   God could solve your problem instantly.

c.   God is greater than any problem you will ever face.

- one word and the storm can be stilled.

- one word and the vicious clouds will disappear into blue skys.

- one word and the pain will be removed.

- one word and that relationship will be restored.

- one word and the agony will be gone.

- one word and the future will look bright again.

d.   God could have stopped this from happening, but He did not.  

*The things that are impossible with man is possible with God.

* You grow in the valley.  Nothing grows on the mountain top.

ill.  Trip to California 1 ½ years ago.

God could get you out of it in one moment.

But you need to GROW through it.











4. Struggle in the Prayer to the Place of Surrender

Luke 22:42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

a.   Jesus was facing the "cup" of God's wrath.  Jesus was asking God, if there was another way of bringing about the redemption of humanity.  The only way that humanity's redemption could be secured was through the blood sacrifice of God's only Son, Jesus Christ. 

b.   He never demanded anything of His Father. 

A proud person demands

A self-serving selfish person demands things from God.

A humble person approaches God with the right attitude.

- Go to the Garden, see His struggle hoping to avoid the cup, and speak (v42) "Not my will, but yours be done."


Die to your self- Crucify your Will

Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Denial of Self

Luke 9:23-25 (NKJV)  Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. (24) For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. (25) For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?

- Empty yourself of Self before God.

- humility, brokenness, removal of all pride and denial of all self-worth

Abandonment into God's hands.-  placing yourself into the hands of the Father for Him to do whatever is His will.


You may have to spend nights in prayer.

Evenings in prayer.

Many early mornings in prayer.

Many lunch times in prayer.


Struggle though it until you pray it through.

Friend you know when you have prayed it through – the Holy Spirit will bear witness with your spirit that you have prayed it through.


The peace of God will encompass, surround, and fill your life to overflowing.



Mark 14:33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.


a.   others that are supportive of you.

b.   others that love you. 

c.   others with will pray for you.

- remember, prayer teams, others are counting on you to call out to God for them. 

- Don't disappoint them.


Mark 14:37-42 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? (38) Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (39) Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. (40) And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. (41) Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. (42) Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”


These three were spiritual loosers.

- They could not watch and pray with Jesus for one hour.

- They  were worldly, self-serving, selfish, self-seeking, self-indulgent believers, who were about to go through their dark night of the soul.

- It would last for three days and then their world would be rocked.

- Their mentor, friend, Messiah would be violently killed and buried.

-They had left all to follow Him – they thought He would save Israel from the Romans.

- these cowards abandoned Jesus and went and hid behind locked doors.

After the Resurrection – Jesus spent 40 days with them.

They prayed for 10 days after Jesus ascended into Heaven.

Then the Holy Spirit entered this world and their lives.


These spiritual loosers, these cowards behind locked doors were changed.


The Spirit of God entered their lives and in the power of the Holy Spirit they changed the world with the message of the Gospel and they loved not their lives to the death.


Spiritual loosers can become spiritual winners when they come through the dark night of the soul and let the Spirit of God reign and rule in their lives.



6.  Anticipate God’s Surprising Strength

* When you need it the most – God will give you strength


* God sent an angel.

Luke 22:43-44 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. (44) And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.


* Learn to wait upon the Lord

(Isa 40:29-31 NKJV)  He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. {30} Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, {31} But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

[(Proverbs 18:10 NKJV)  The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.]

Stand on God's Word and Trust in Him.

When you Can't see God's Hand -  Trust His Heart!

- He is a Loving, Gracious, and Kind Heavenly Father.















7.  Release it into God’s Hands

(45) When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. (46) Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”

He rose up in victory. When Jesus got up that last time – He won the victory.

He has released it completely into God’s hands.

He had submitted to the Father’s Will completely.

He had won the victory in prayer.

a.   Release the good.

- Place into His loving care your future, your hopes, your dreams.

b.   Release the bad.

- Hold up to Him all your angers, enemies, desire for retaliation and give it all into His hands and then turn around and walk away. 

-  there won't be an end, until you release to God.

c.   Release with hope.

- It is not fatalism :  not resigning yourself over to fate.

- It is not resignation : where there is no faith;  acknowledges that God is not an active presence in your life.  Has no hope.

- We are held up by a confident trust in the character of God.

- Sometimes the very things we relinquish is given back to us.

- Sometimes the release is permanent.


Jesus won the battle in the prayer closet.

Jesus won the battle of the cross in the prayer closet before He ever faced the cross.

Jesus won the battle in prayer and was then able to sustain all the suffering with peace.

We would like to believe that if we win the battle in the prayer closet, - we will never face any pain or suffering.

That is not Biblical – but it is American Pseudo-Christianity.


(Heb 12:2 NKJV)  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

You want to please God all  your life.  Walk by faith. 

For it is impossible to please God without faith.

Endure whatever comes your way. 

Persevere through the dark days and the darker nights.

Look forward to what you have IN CHRIST.

Don’t give up.  Keep trusting in Jesus.

Don’t give in.  Keep believing for God to move in your situation.

Don’t give out.  Keep drawing your strength from Jesus.

Look for God’s hand – everywhere.

Look for God’s hand in ways that you would never expect it.

Trust Him when you can’t see your way out.

He is the Only One who knows the way you really need to go.

The old song says…

Trust and Obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus,

than to Trust and Obey.

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