LEARNING FROM JESUS
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
(1 John 5:14)
One of the greatest privileges being children of God is that we have the confidence that God our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayer according to his will.
The promise of answered prayer always hinged on the will of God. In all our prayers, we must learn to humble ourselves like our Lord Jesus Christ. In Gethsemane, our Lord prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. (Luke 22:42-43)
This is one prayer of our Lord that was both unanswered and answered. The prayer that was not answered was “take this cup from me”. The cup refers to the kind of suffering and death our Lord Jesus had to go through. It was death on the cross. In other words – the will of the Father for the sake and salvation of the whole world is that His Son must bear the suffering and death on the cross. That prayer (request) was not granted.
However, God answered His Son’s prayer in another way – “An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened Him”. That was God’s answer to the prayer of our Lord Jesus, “yet not my will, but yours be done.” God strengthened His Son to endure the cross and to fulfill His mission.
Therefore, our attitude of prayer must always be humility and submission to God’s will. Our Lord Jesus submitted Himself to His Father’s will. That’s why He prayed “if You are willing…yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
We must always be mindful that being confident does not mean we can demand or disrespect God. Even though God is our loving Heavenly Father, it does not give us the right to simply command Him to the whims and fancies of our wants.
He is still the Creator and Almighty. If our Lord Jesus being the begotten Son of God shows humility and submission, how much more we mere mortals, adopted children by the grace of God, ought to know our proper place and position before the Holy and Awesome God.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, when we draw near to God from a position His grace not our rights, then we have the confidence that He will hear us, answer us according to His will and purpose!
Bishop John Yeo