The Submission of Jesus

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).

Jesus’ power was released through submission. If we say “yours is the power” we mean “ours is the submission.”

There was a time when I thought that Jesus’ power was automatic. I believed that since He was the Son of God and God the Son that He could, for example, simply walk on water whenever He chose to do so; it was a settled conviction that the healing ministry of Jesus would occur whenever He chose to do so. A closer examination of the life of Christ shows that He gave up that prerogative when He entered the human stream of existence. “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner’” (John 5:19).

This is not the only text in which this teaching is found. He repeats this a few verses later. “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 5:30).

Certainly Jesus’ prayer at Gethsemane makes clear that, at least once, He did not instantly do every thing that the Father spoke to Him. There He found Himself struggling to obey the clear will of the Father, and took time to pray it through. Three times He asked for the will of the Father to be altered. And three times He received the answer “no.” He had to choose to do the thing that the Father wanted, and the choice had to be deliberate and clear.

–Adapted from Power Praying (Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer) by David Chotka

Gracious Lord, I am humbled by the fact that even Jesus had to pray…and even Jesus heard You say, “No.” Forgive me for getting bent out of shape when You answer my prayers, “No.”  Instead of recognizing that You always have the best interests of Your kingdom at heart, I am frustrated when I don’t get the answer I want. Show me how to align my prayers with Your purposes, and allow me to submit to Your answers with peace.

Prayer Points

Praise God for his everlasting love (Jer. 31:3), which has no end. Thank God for demonstrating his love for you by sending his Son to die in your place (Rom. 5:8). Confess any lack of love you have experienced toward God or other believers. Commit yourself to bearing the fruit of love by the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Ask God to enable you daily to “put on love” (Col. 3:14).

As you gather with other believers for worship this week, pray that “being rooted and established in love . . . [you may] grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Eph. 3:17-18). Let this thought flood your mind in worship.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend