Read: Read: Matthew 26:42
“Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”
One of Garth Brook’s songs, “Unanswered Prayers” always make me chuckle. It’s the story of former high school sweethearts who cross paths years later and are thankful that their relationship DIDN’T work out as they had prayed as teenagers, thus the line, “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers”.
We’ve all prayed to God about something, sometime, trying to bargain, persuade, or convince God to answer our prayers in the way that we want. Sometimes, in hindsight, we are thankful that God didn’t answer our prayer in the way that we wanted. Consider these words from John Wesley as the America Revolution began:
“I desired as many as could to join together in fasting and prayer, that God would restore the spirit of love and of a sound mind to the poor deluded rebels in America.” – John Wesley
John Wesley was a renegade, but he was not a rebel. He didn’t want the church to split, and he didn’t want to start a new denomination, (having “Methodists” split off from the Church of England). Wesley didn’t grasp the flow of history and the decisive momentum of democracy in America. We, in America, can be thankful for Wesley’s “unanswered prayer”, or more accurately, for God’s answer of “No”.
John Wesley was a deeply committed man of prayer. But prayer isn’t about convincing God to do what we want God to do. Prayer, by Jesus’ example, is to open ourselves up to God’s will. Jesus prayed, “Thy will be done”.
Today, Wednesday, November 7th, our church is having a prayer vigil. If you have signed up: Thank you! If you didn’t sign up, pray anyway. In all of our prayers, let us seek the will of God, that’s the “Jesus way” to pray Seeking God’s will means spending as much time listening for God, as it does coming up with words to say to God.
Pastor Rob Nystrom