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The Perfect Prayer:

By bigbatch - Posted on 05 May 2009

Praying Hands.JPGOnce upon a time I used to think (had been taught) that God answers prayer according to your faith alone. If you have a lot of faith, (in getting what you are praying for) God will answer your prayers according to your requests. This proved to be very hard work indeed.

What I didn’t understand at the time was that yes, God does expect us to pray in faith but the all important detail here is “the object of that faith”. God should always be the object of our faith not the thing we are praying for. Put simply our faith must be in God not in our request.

For me as a Christian, Jesus is the sum and substance of all that I believe. He set the perfect example for me and all other Christians to follow, as recorded in the Bible.

I take great solace in Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane on the eve of His crucifixion.

Jesus prayed 3 times a variation of the following :  And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will." Mark 14:36  

In Hebrews it says that Jesus was tested in every way as we are but was without sin. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:16   Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:15  

It’s good to know that we have a Lord & Saviour who can fully empathise with any difficulties that we may face in life and has set an example for us to follow.

I find it interesting that Jesus prayed for the very thing that he “came to earth to do” to be taken away from Him, but He qualified it with “nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will." Jesus’ will was totally submitted to the Father; He came to earth to do the will of the Father. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come; In the volume of the book it is written of Me; To do Your will, O God.' Heb. 10:7

How comforting it is to know that Jesus understands and empathises with our frail humanity.

In His humanity, for Jesus is both fully God & fully man, He cried out “Abba Father”. Does that resonate with you? Father, Daddy, help me, this is too hard for me, take this thing away from me, nevertheless not my will but Your will be done.

When we pray we make requests of God for the things in our lives that we need according to the way that “we” see things. This is good and it is good to explain our reasons to God and put forward good arguments, (intelligent prayer) for why we are asking for the things that we do ask for. God listens to and answers our prayers. We are not praying to a God that does not hear. If Jesus is our Lord then He is our Saviour, and God the Father hears us on account of what Jesus did on the cross.

As our Lord and Saviour, Jesus takes our prayers to God the Father and presents them as if they were His own; He intercedes for us (Heb 7:25) in His perfect righteousness. That’s comforting, no wonder it says in Hebrews 4 that we can come boldly before God’s throne of grace. I’m glad I don’t have to go in my own righteousness aren’t you?

The encouraging thing for me in all of this is that Jesus prayed for what He wanted (as we do) but submitted it to God the Father to make the final decision according to His perfect will.

He prayed three times for what His humanity desired. We can do the same. Ask God for the things that you need, for the things that you want changed and then by faith in God trust that His perfect will be done concerning these matters. 

I have lived, (and prayed) long enough to be able to thank God that He did not give me some of the specific answers to prayer that I wanted but He answered according to His perfect will. 

The results are far less messy.

There are lots of things we won’t fully understand in this life but we can rest in faith knowing that God will not withhold any good thing from us. Take the anxiety out of your prayer life and pray to the Father as Jesus did, “nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will” . Amen.

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Christian Quotes

"Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused."

Charles Spurgeon

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