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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 83

Answered Prayers continued...

It is of utmost importance that we pray according to the will of God, for only when we pray in accordance to His will, will we receive an answer to our prayers. In order to understand the paramount importance of prayer, we need look no further than Christ Jesus, who spent countless nights, and countless hours in prayer to the Father, though He was the Son of God.

Jesus likewise thought prayer so important, that He took the time to instruct His disciples on how to pray. Jesus never instructed His disciples on how to preach, teach, or fashion a sermon, but He did take the time to instruct them on how it was they were to pray.

Why is it we so often discount those things so obviously paramount in scripture, while accentuating those we know to be of lesser importance, or secondary issues?

Although prayer is something the disciples of Christ asked to be taught, although Jesus took the time to teach it, although every true man of God in the Bible is shown to have been a man of prayer, we are still reticent when it comes to desiring to know all there is to know concerning this precious gift. Yes, prayer is a gift. It is something God gives to His children exclusively, that they might communicate and commune with Him, that they might have fellowship with Him, and speak to Him without reservation.

True prayer always conforms itself to the will of God. I realize this may sound contradictory to what many are teaching concerning prayer nowadays, but it is nevertheless scriptural. If our prayers do not conform themselves to the will of God, then they are not prayed in accordance with the will of God.

Even Christ conformed His prayer to the will of God, when doing so meant His having to suffer, to drink the cup He would rather have had pass from Him.

Luke 22:41-42, “And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father if it is Your will, remove this cup from Me, nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.’”

Christ was in Gethsemane, as He was accustomed, and He was there to pray. His prayer on this particular night was a prayer filled with agony, to the point that His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. The essence of His prayer to God was that if at all possible the cup would be removed from Him. The cup to which Christ was referring was His subsequent suffering, all that He would soon endure, including crucifixion and death, at the hands of the Pharisees and the Roman soldiers.

If Christ’s prayer would have ended with the words ‘remove this cup from Me’, then perhaps I could understand, if only partially, how some of today’s doctrines insist that we could demand of God, mandate of God, and outright command Him when we want something.

Christ continued His prayer beyond ‘remove this cup from Me’ however, concluding it with, ‘nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done.’

If it would have been up to Him, Christ would have preferred that the cup of suffering be removed from Him, yet He knew it is the Father’s will which is preeminent in all things, and it is His will that must be done, and not ours.

There are many thing for which we pray, many things which we desire, at the end of which we humble ourselves and say, nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done. This is what it means for our prayers to be conformed to the will of God, because His will is perfect for our lives, and He will consistently lead us to green pastures even though in the present we cannot see it.

Christ lived His life here on earth in perfect obedience to the Father, giving the Father’s will preeminence over His own.

John 5:30, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”

John 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

Christ humbled Himself, being obedient unto death, having come down from heaven not to do His own will but the will of He who had sent Him. Christ’s purpose was the will of the Father, and He was obedient to the point of death, remaining in the will of God in perpetuity.

We choose to do the will of God, and we likewise choose not to do the will of God. Obedience is a choice…one we make every day, regarding issues great and small alike.

We choose to give our will preeminence over the will of God, or we choose to humble ourselves, and give the will of God preeminence over our own wills. The choice remains ours in exclusivity, as individuals, for it is as individuals that we choose obedience, and not as a collective.

An individual, who knows and accepts the sovereignty of God in their life, is able to pray in conformity to the will of God. Only when we accept God’s sovereignty over us, only when we come to the knowledge of His sovereign nature, can we pray for His will to be done rather than our own and for His plan to come to pass rather than our desires.

When I know that for every trial there is a purpose, for every hardship an objective, for every lack a reason to trust, for every grief a reason to be comforted, for every joy a reason to be thankful, then I will pray as Jesus prayed, conforming all that I bring before God to His will.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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