top of page

Not What I Will

“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

When we pray for God’s will to be done rather than our own, we should do that with a positive attitude toward His wisdom and love. “God is perfect love and perfect wisdom,” wrote William Temple. “We do not pray in order to change His will, but to bring our own wills into harmony with his.” Because the benevolence of God is perfect, subordinating our will to His is more a privilege than a duty. Rather than come to God with a demanding spirit, we should pray with a buoyant trust, grateful that we can simply put ourselves in His hands. It can be a delight to let Him decide what is best.

Too often we see prayer as the unpleasant, and usually unsuccessful, begging of God to do some specific thing that we want done. But as Richard Trench once wrote, “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance; it is laying hold of his highest willingness.” We are taught to come to God confidently with our requests, and prayer that doesn’t do that is not really honest prayer. But when we pray, it is helpful to pray with what might be called a “listening” attitude. As we make our supplications to God, we are to be open to the possibility that He may have a better plan, a higher purpose. If we pray as we ought, seeking to lay hold of God’s “highest willingness,” we will come away refreshed, confident that we’ve spoken honestly with him about our requests, but confident also that if He knows a better path for us to follow, we’ve made some progress discerning what that path might be.

Praying for God’s will to be done can be an agonizing experience, without question. It was so for our Lord in Gethsemane. And yet an “agonizing” experience is not necessarily a “negative” one. To let God, choose which path we are to follow is, at least for us, to grow in our spirits. It is to be made more wise. “To pray is to expose the shores of the mind to the incoming tide of God” (Ralph Washington Sockman). Thus, when we pray, we must seek more than some particular blessing from God. We must seek Him and whatever His will may be. True prayer is not simply about what we want. It’s about learning to want what we should want.

Diligently Seeking God - Gary Henry – August 1

Sunday AM

Sermon in Song: Gethsemane

Mark 14:32-42

I. #635 A Beautiful Prayer – Matt. 26:39

II. #170 In Gethsemane Alone – Matt. 26:38

III. #179 Lead Me To Calvary – Luke 23:33

IV. #162 Night, With Ebon Pinion – Luke 22:44

Sunday PM

Sermon in Song: The Word of God

Psalm 119:1-8

I. #439 Psalm 19 – Psa. 19:11

II. #355 Break Thou The Bread of Life – John 6:33

III. #500 Give Me The Bible – Psa. 119:105

IV. #360 Standing on the Promises – 2 Pet. 1:4

Sermon in Song: Gethsemane

Mark 14:32-42

“Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here while I pray." 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch." 35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 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." 37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." 39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. 40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. 41 Then He came the third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 "Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand."”

Sermon in Song: The Word of God

Psalm 119:1-8

“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the LORD! 2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! 3 They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways. 4 You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently. 5 Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes! 6 Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments. 7 I will praise You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments. 8 I will keep Your statutes; Oh, do not forsake me utterly!”

bottom of page