And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”
Life is a series of seasons, some difficult and some easy. A few years ago, I was going through one of the difficult ones. I remember someone asking me how I was doing, and I replied that I was just about at the end of my rope. Her response was to tell me that she would pray for more rope. I very quickly told her that I did not need any more rope. What I needed was to be relieved of the situation, free of the struggle. It was an honest answer, and I could not have been more transparent in that moment. Although this was how I felt, and although I was comfortable honestly saying this to a sister in Christ, a part of me felt like I could not say this to God himself in prayer. I thought it would be wrong to just be honest and tell him that instead of giving me what I need to get through that time I would prefer to simply be relieved of it altogether. But how could I think that God would want anything but an honest prayer from me?
A person’s faith journey is not a dot but a line. Sanctification is not instant but takes time. There are days when we will ask for God to give us whatever tool or skill we need to get through the time of struggle. There will be other days when we sincerely only desire for the struggle to disappear. It is not wrong for us to be honest with God and tell him where we are in that moment. Jesus himself asked his Father to take from him the task that lay before him if there were any other way to accomplish the Father’s will. This is the son of God being completely transparent and sincere in saying that He would prefer not to endure what awaited him, and that was okay. It was okay because He still wanted to fulfill God’s will. We must understand that the Father wants prayers that are honest, even if it means confessing to him that what He has for us seems too much for us to bear.
If we study the scriptures, we see that God is looking for those who desire to completely rely on him. We also see that there is no hiding from God. He sees and knows everything. When I approach him in prayer, I do not need to put on a brave face and try to be some kind of Superman. I need to approach the Father with honesty and tell him what is really on my heart. He knows what is there already. Sometimes the things I have to say are things that I believe he would rather not hear, but those things are true. I want to tell my father that I’m ready for whatever he has for me, but sometimes I feel that I am not. I want to say that I am unshakable, but sometimes I do tremble. What matters is that I am still committed to what He has for me. Father, thank You that we can approach You in honesty and sincerity even when we feel we are less than what You desire is to be.