His mother leaned over and gently stroked his frail arm. “What is it, son?”
“What does it mean to pray ‘your will be done’? Does it mean God will do what we ask?”
Adam’s mother was surprised he hadn’t raised the question before. She had struggled with it herself. “No, it doesn’t mean that.” Swallowing her tears, she managed a smile. “It means we share our pain with God. We tell Him how we feel and what we desire. But then, we decide to trust His will over our own, even though it’s hard.”
“Do you think God has something better for me in Heaven than here?”
No longer able to control the tears, Adam’s mother lowered her head beside his and wept. “Yes, dear. I think He does.”
“Don’t worry, Mama. I’ll be okay. If God wants me there, that’s where I want to be. Besides, they probably need a pitcher on the 10-and-under team. I’ll bet they’re waiting for me, don’t you?”
“Your will be done . . . .” is not for wimps. It’s high-stakes praying. Never before or since have the stakes been higher than they were for Jesus. Physically, He faced a horrible death. Emotionally, He would experience the unfathomable–separation from His Father. And then the final blow! Spiritually, He, who knew no sin, would take the sins of the world upon Himself.
What can we learn from Jesus’ example of high-stakes praying?
- He prayed God’s will over His felt need. Is there any need or desire we’ve been unwilling to submit to God’s will?
- He did what we would do. He asked if it was possible to change the plan. Did He know the plan couldn’t be changed? Of course He did. Yet, instead of giving in to the pain and giving up on the plan, what did Jesus do?
- He prayed His pain, and shared His sorrow. Have we talked to God about our heart’s desires, as well as our pain? Have we been willing to share our sorrow with a trustworthy friend?
- He submitted to the Fathers’ sovereignty. How? He focused on the bigger picture. He endured for our sakes. We were the “joy set before Him.” Have we considered the possibility of a higher purpose than our present well-being?
- He entrusted Himself to the Father. The Son of God could have stopped the whole thing. Instead, He drew upon the same power He’s given us to endure our trials. The power of the Holy Spirit. Are we moment-by-moment trusting the Holy Spirit within us to convict us, cleanse us, fill us, and use us for His purpose?
If we truly desire to be in God’s will, He’ll extend His power and grace to keep us there. And that’s always a winning ticket. What happens if we don’t desire God’s will more than our own? We miss out on everything God has planned for us. And that’s the greatest loss of all.
Let’s join Adam in his assessment. Wherever God wants us to be, that’s where we want to be. We may not play on a baseball team in heaven this season. But we can play on God’s team in the here and now. That is if we’re in shape for the big game. How do we get in shape? We adopt high-stakes praying as a way of life. “Not my will, Father, but your will be done.”
(Note: Check out the scriptures and various quotes in the Crumbs section. Next week, we’ll consider what it means to pray for God’s will to be done on earth “as it is in heaven.” Is that even possible? Be thinking about it and so will I. See you then.)