(41) And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, (42) Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. (43) And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.Luke 22:41-43
Jesus got to this pivotal time of prayer. He got by Himself in the place where He needed to be, and we see that he assumed a posture. Did He have to kneel? I don’t believe so. In fact, we know that you do not have to kneel to pray because in verse 46 he told His disciples to rise and pray.
Yet Jesus did kneel, and Luke records it. His physical posture was one of kneeling.
When we kneel, it is a place of vulnerability. It is a place of submission. When we see people go before an earthly king, what do they do? They kneel. Even visually it is a picture of submission.
Jesus’ physical posture matched the posture of His heart. Notice what He says to God.
He calls him Father. This is the pattern He had given His disciples in the Lord’s prayer. In this moment He is talking to His Father in heaven. Notice the submission of HIs request: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me…”. Jesus was about to drink from the cup of God’s wrath for the sin of the World. Jesus, like any of us, did not want to taste of the wrath of God. He did not want there to be separation between Him and the Father. The scripture says that for the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross.
Yet, Jesus finished out this request in the way we ought to pray when He said, “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” This matches what Jesus said in the model prayer. “Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
In this text we see something that God gives to Jesus in this moment. It is obvious that it was God’s Will was that He did drink from the cup. It is obvious that Jesus would submit to God’s will in that. In that moment, Jesus was in agony as we will see. Although God did not make the cup pass, He did send help to strengthen Jesus in this moment in the form of an angel.
“(43) And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”
You know that it is often this way with us. We may pray for God to get us out of a situation, or to take care of a problem, and this is not wrong. God wants us to go to Him for the things we need. But there should always be this attitude of submission in our prayers expressed in the words of Jesus when He said, “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.” “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
We are never promised that God will always answer our prayers the way we want Him to, but we are promised His strength, His help, and His presence.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.1 Corinthians 10:13
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.Matthew 28:20
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. (6) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (7) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.1 Peter 5:5-7
Where does submissive prayer need to happen in your life today? How can you, through prayer, get off the throne and put Jesus on the throne today?