Years ago, I took one of those 20-question quizzes, which used to populate our email inboxes. Before Facebook took over, we replied to all and read our friends’ answers one by one as they replied to ours. Remember that?
This quiz included questions about your favorite fruit, your most embarrassing moment, and how many days a week you cry. Random.
Guess what I learned?
Most people don’t shed tears every day.
Or at least that group of my friends didn’t. After I sent out my answers, some of them wondered if I was depressed. But I didn’t have anything to hide—I’ve just always been an easy cry.
I’ve been studying the book of Hebrews, where we see Jesus as superior to angels and prophets and the law that came through Moses. He’s our High Priest who gives us continual access to God’s Presence.
But we also see Jesus living out of his humanity, displaying strong emotion.
We see Him crying and praying fervently about what was to come.
We see Him struggle and still obey God, even through suffering.
We see Him fully dependent on God His Father day after day.
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Hebrews 5:7
It’s the emotion here that stops me—fervent cries and tears to the One who could save Him.
This points to His time in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus asked His Abba, Father to take this cup from Him. He was asking God to not let Him die in such agony–with the sins of the world heaped upon Him.
He didn’t want His Father to turn away from Him.
And He was heard because of His reverent submission. This last part of the verse is important.
Jesus asked for a different way, but He submitted to the Father’s will.
Yet not what I will, but what you will. Mark 14:36b
Is this the attitude you carry into your prayers?
It’s often not where my heart is, when I come to God with a need. I’m thinking, MY will, Lord, just say yes! I’m assuming I can see far enough ahead to know my way will work out best. I’m sure I know what I need.
But often, God shows me that what I need more than anything is to walk with Him and depend on Him.
What I need most is to lay my requests at His feet and say, Not what I will, but what you will.
Jesus endured His life on earth with regular time away from everyone else, praying to His Father–even though there were endless people to help and things to do.
Our lives, also, are meant to be handled with prayer.
May we follow Christ’s example to actively trust in God and depend on our Father through prayer. May we pray as an offering, sometimes including tears. Every day if needed.
Angela Parlin is Dan’s wife and Mom to 3 rowdy boys and 1 sweet girl. In addition to spending time with friends and family, she loves to read and write, spend days at the beach, watch romantic comedies, and organize closets. But most of all, she loves Jesus and writes to call attention to the beauty of life in Christ, even when that life collaborates with chaos. Join her each week at www.angelaparlin.com, So Much Beauty in All This Chaos.