Praying at Gethsemane • Devotion #2: No

“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39

What does your prayer time look like? Is it a once-in-a-great-while thing when something bad happens and you think to yourself, “God I really need your help right now?” Or is it more like a wish list? “God, I want this, and I want that.” Or is it somewhere in between?

Are you mad at God when you do not get what you asked for?

Jesus prayed to His Father, and He did not get the desire of His heart. The answer was, “No.” Yet He was not angry or upset. He knew the Father’s plans were best.

The scene is the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus had just had the “Last Supper” with the disciples and revealed He was about to be betrayed. He went off to the garden with Peter, James, and John for a quiet place to pray. He knew His time was near.

Jesus told the three disciples to stay awake and be alert, yet when Jesus left to pray, they fell asleep. Three times Jesus returned from prayer to find the three asleep.

What did Jesus pray, you ask? Matthew 26:39 says, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

The “cup” Jesus is referring to is His destiny, the plan, His death on the cross. This was the Father’s plan all along, yet we find Jesus asking for it to be changed “if possible.” He was, after all, 100% human. He was voicing His human desire not to suffer. However, Jesus was also 100% God. He and the Father (and the Holy Spirit) are One. He voiced His wishes and yet obeyed His Father’s plan. 

Jesus obeyed the will of the Father, even if the answer to His prayer was, “No.” Jesus showed His human emotion, and He showed His obedience and faithfulness to His Father.

When you pray and ask for something, are you ok with the answer, “No?” Are you willing to submit to and obey God, knowing that His ways are the best? He has a better plan for you!

Next time you pray for something and the answer is “no” or “not now,” remember Jesus had that same experience. He did obey His Father and in the end, the Father’s plan was best!

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