While I was preparing Sunday’s message, I read again about Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. And I noticed something.
When He began praying, Jesus was in agony. I don’t know if the Son of God was ever scared or confused, but if He was, this is it. His stress was palpable.
Then He prayed, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine." Matthew 26:39 (NLT)
Here’s the thing. God didn’t literally answer that prayer. The suffering came and Jesus left the garden knowing that it was coming. But when Jesus was done praying He was re-aligned with the will of His Father. (Remember, Prayer is not about acquiring stuff from God, it’s about aligning ourselves with God.) Jesus emerged from prayer a confident Savior, at peace with God’s plan and His part in that plan.
And that’s what prayer is about.
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In case you missed it, here are some key thoughts on prayer from Sunday’s message:
• God often withholds the answer to a prayer until you are properly aligned with Him. If you’re not properly aligned with God, you won’t properly use what you get from God.
• God is often using your need to align other people as well as yourself.
• He also uses other people’s needs to align you.
• That means sometime your prayers are not being answered because He’s still working to align another person
• And sometimes another person’s prayers are not being answered because He’s still working to align you.
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Finally, here’s a great message on prayer that really helped me in preparing for Sunday. I don’t agree with everything the dude says, but he gives some great insight.