The Most Difficult Prayer to Pray
The Most Difficult Prayer to Pray
A loving Personality dominates the Bible, walking among the trees of the garden and breathing fragrance over every scene. Always a living Person is present, speaking, pleading, loving, working, and manifesting himself whenever and wherever his people have the receptivity necessary to receive the manifestation. A. W. Tozer (1897–1963)
The Christian walk demands “Honesty” there is no room for deceit or deception especially self deceit or self deception. In every phase of our Christian walk the need for the clarity that comes from an ever growing, internal evaluation can be the difference between an eternity spent in heaven or hell.
As a matter of fact, I submit to you that the only reason we who live inside the walls of the church have such a problem dealing with each other honestly is because deep down inside in our secret places we know what kind of liars that we are. In so many ways, in so many places for too long a time some have lived a lie for so long that we have begun to believe that the “lie” is the truth.
If we are to honest, we have to admit that some time, in some circumstances, even our prayers are difficult things.
2. At Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, “Thy will be done” (v. 42) Gethsemane Gethsem'a-ne (an oil-press), a small "farm," Matt 26:36; Mark 14:32 situated across the brook Kedron John 18:1 probably at the foot of Mount Olivet, Luke 22:39 to the northwest and about one-half or three quarters of a mile English from the walls of Jerusalem, and 100 yards east of the bridge over the Kedron. There was a "garden," or rather orchard, attached to it, to which the olive, fig and pomegranate doubtless invited resort by their hospitable shade. And we know from the evangelists Luke 22:39 And John 18:2 that our Lord often rested there with his disciples. But Gethsemane has not come down to us as a scene of rest & relaxation; its inexhaustible associations are the offspring of a single event—the agony of the Son of God on the evening preceding his passion.
Matthew 26:36-39 (NRSV) 36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38 Then he said to them, "I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me." 39 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want."
3. This is the most difficult prayer to pray (most of the time we pray such pretty prayers)
B. C. S. Lewis and His Two Kinds of People
Those to whom God must say: “Have it your way”
Those who say to God: “Thy will be done”
A. To Pray This Prayer Demands a Surrender in the Soul (v. 38) 38 Then he said to them, "I am deeply grieved, even to death; “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death”
2. See the depth of our Lord’s commitment
3. This prayer was in preparation for the cross
4. Contrast this to the superficial religion of the Pharisees
a. They were hypocritical: good talk but poor walk
5. Jesus called His disciples to full surrender (Matt. 16:24–25)
a. He calls us to the same
B. To Pray This Prayer Demands a Surrender of the Will (v. 39)
1. “Not as I will, but as thou wilt”
2. What stubborn wills we have!
a. We are born with these stubborn wills
b. Paul’s struggle with his will (Rom. 7) Romans 7:14-15 (NRSV) 14 For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. 15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
3. Both men and animals have stubborn wills, Try to lead a dog where he doesn’t want to go.
I got a dog who runs to me with love, but sometimes when he has been digging down in the dirt he runs to me with muddy paws.
They have to put “Bits” in horses’ mouths to control their wills
4. Do you refuse to come to Christ because of your stubborn will?
5. Have you refused to forgive because of your stubborn will?
6. Yield to God and make His will your own
a. You will experience great relief: peace
b. In yielding, you will find forgiveness and freedom
The Most Difficult Prayer to Pray -To Pray This Prayer Demands Dedication even When Others Fail (vv. 40–46) 40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, "So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." 42 Again he went away for the second time and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done." 43 Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words.
1. “… and findeth them asleep” How easy it is to give in to the flesh!
3. Others are likely to fail us and then what will we do?
4. What did Jesus do when His disciples failed? He went again the second time and prayed (v. 42) He went again the third time and prayed (v. 44) We must remain faithful to Him when others fail
In times of suffering people sometimes wish they knew the future, or they wish they could understand the reason for their anguish. Jesus knew what lay ahead of him, and he knew the reason. Even so, his struggle was intense — more wrenching than any struggle we will ever have to face. We sing “trust & obey” but what does it take to be able to say "as you will"? It takes firm trust in God's plans; it takes prayer and obedience each step of the way.
A. Have You Been Resisting the Will of God?
B. Are You Willing to Surrender All?
C. Come to the One Who Surrendered All for You
The choice made in Eden made necessary the choice made in Gethsemane. Not my will but thine be done!
I encourage you this day, to honestly pray the most difficult prayer! God's Strange Answers to prayer always turn out best. They tell a story of a man. . . .
He was a Christian, and he prayed. He asked for strength to do greater things, but he was given infirmity that he might do better things.
He asked for riches that he might be happy; he was given poverty that he might be wise.
He asked for power that he might have the praise of men; he was given weakness that he might feel the need of God.
He had received nothing that he asked for; all that he hoped for. His prayer seems unanswered, but he is most blessed.
Not our wills. . . .but his!