Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Praying Like Jesus

Jesus is omniscient. That means that Jesus is all knowing – He knows everything there is to know about everything. That is pretty amazing. While He lived on earth, He chose to limit Himself in how His all knowingness was handled (see Philippians 2:3-8). We learn from the Gospel’s that Jesus willingly submitted Himself to the Father and only did what the Father instructed Him to say and do (John 5:30). I was reading portions of the passion week of Jesus (the week leading up to his death and resurrection). When I came upon the passage below, I was not surprised that Jesus knew what would be happening. “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ and he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.” The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover.” Mark 14:13-15 However, Jesus, in His humanity, has chosen to limit Himself and to be submitted to the Father’s will as John 5:30 teaches us. So a few verses later in Mark 14:36, Jesus prays, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You: remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” Jesus was asking the Father to stop Him from having to go to the cross and be crucified, but after ultimately prayed that the Father would have His way – Jesus submitted His desire to the Father’s will. This verse is very encouraging to me. I pray like this many times every week. I know that God the Father can do anything – all things are possible with Him. Therefore I bring people, situations and attitudes to the Father and ask Him to intervene and answer my requests. But then I stop and ponder the truth that I really do not know much, certainly not everything like God does, so I end my prayers often with the same words Jesus used, “yet not what I will, but what You will.” I have in the past felt guilty at times praying like this. It seems that somewhere I learned the idea that praying this way is faithless and not powerful. I will no longer feel bad about praying in this manner. I will follow Jesus’ lead. When I feel lead by Jesus to pray more aggressively (and I have at times) I will obey. I hope this might help some who feel like they pray with less faith than others. May I suggest you simply follow the example of Jesus in Mark 14.