…but your will be done.

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Daily Readings: Matthew 26

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

-Matthew 26:36-44

Jesus did not want to die on the cross. He wasn’t eagerly anticipating the day he was going to fulfill all of the prophesies. He wasn’t immune to the pain and suffering that he was about to endure. In garden of Gethsemane he asked not once, but three times, if there was any other way. Was this how it had to go? Could God the Father accomplish his mission in any other way?

I can’t imagine the heartbreak God the Father must have felt as his son fell face down onto the ground in anguish and prayed to him, “My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.” As a dad, this thought just wrecks me.

It is easy to skim over this part of the story and minimize the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. After all, he was fully God walking on earth. Surely this whole ordeal wouldn’t be as bad for his as for “a normal man”, right?

Jesus was fully God, but he was also fully human. In that moment, when he was about to be arrested and the climax of his time on earth was about to commence, Jesus asked if there was any other way.

When we don’t spend enough time contemplating this fact, we cheapen the sacrifice that was made.

Jesus prayed this prayer three separate times in Matthew 26. However, even more powerfully, at the end of each of these prayers he concluded with, “…but your will be done.”


He returned to his disciple in Matthew 26:40-41 and had the following exchange:

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

The disciples didn’t realize that he was talking about himself as well. Jesus, in the flesh, had no interest in going to the cross. However, the spirit is willing. And Jesus, just like the rest of us, needed prayer to avoid falling into temptation. He needed to turn to God the Father for help. He needed strength that he did not possess on his own to bring him through this trial.

And he was fully God…

How much more do we need to watch and pray as Jesus commanded? How much more critical is it that we are constantly turning our lives over to God repeatedly throughout the day? Over and over and over again…

Jesus went and prayed that prayer three times in a row. It wasn’t a quick, one and done, “Thanks Dad, I got it from here.” type of prayer.

Ultimately, Jesus was more concerned with his Father’s will being accomplished through his life than the concerns of his flesh.

“Your will be done…”

I want to pray this at the end of every prayer. I want the posture of my heart to be focused entirely on submission to God’s will. God wants us praying to him with full expectation of our prayers being answered. Jesus wants us having faith the size of a mustard seed that he spoke about earlier in his time here on earth. However, he also wants that faith to be accompanied by complete trust that the answer to our prayers may come in a different form or fashion than we expect. It will come according to God’s will and his larger master plan.

Jesus understood this, even when his flesh was weak.

So today, whatever you have been praying for in your own life most recently, remember Gethsemane. Remember to end your prayer with a sincere, “…but your will be done.” When we do this, the spirit is truly willing. God is ready to flood your life with blessings, even if they do not always take the exact form that you expect.

…your will be done.

Thought to ponder

What prayers have I prayed recently where I have been unwilling to tack on a “but your will be done.” to the end? How can I turn this over to God fully and trust in his divine plan for my life?

2 thoughts on “…but your will be done.

Add yours

  1. Wow, so powerful. I love that we have a God who hears us and knows us. Knows what we want and what we truly need. The blessing He gives us are for his glory. This reminds me of a message a few months back, to make plans and goals but hold them loosely. Allow God the space to move and work in your life so He can show is will. Thanks Aaron, this message is a great start to the day!


  2. So good and so true! God’s full portion for us involves some suffering, but it’s for His glory and kingdom, so it’s worth it!


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