“And He was saying, ‘Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.'” (Mark 14:36)
Many talk of unanswered prayers and sometimes they lose their faith in God because they feel He did not keep His end of the promise. This is because they are relying on passages such as John 14:14, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” and Mark 11:23, “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”
By themselves, these and other verses seem to teach that all we have to do is believe and ask and God will grant it whatever it is. But like many Biblical teachings, these verses cannot be viewed in isolation. Everything we read in the Bible must be considered in the context of the entire word of God. God has placed His entire plan for man within certain parameters and all interaction between man and Him must conform to those parameters.
Prayer is one of those. The Christian is frequently advised to pray, to pray in faith and in confidence. What is often missed by the one praying is that there are two basic parameters to prayer. I am calling them the two pillars of prayer. Every prayer offered by a human must conform to these pillars. Even Jesus, in His most needful moment on this earth, was bound by those pillars.
Pillar one: “All things are possible for You.” When prayer is made to God it is made with the understanding that the thing or things asked for are possible. God can do. He can do more than we can think up for Him to do. The requested outcome of our prayers is possible for God.
Pillar two: “Not what I will, but what You will.” This is the place where we get confused. We think God will give us the answer we want whether it is His will or not. We then become disappointed when what we desired from God is not forthcoming. This is where the real trust comes in. Can we, like Jesus, accept God’s answer when it isn’t what we wanted?
Task for Today: Pray as always. Believe that God can. Trust that He will if it is a part of His plan. Trust God to know what is the best answer. He is not blinded by selfishness as we are. Remember that He loves you just like He loved His Son and He will do what is right. It’s what Abraham proclaimed and we should too.