Lent Devotion – Prayer

Published March 5, 2024 by Carol Shattuck

“May Your will be done.”  

“Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42

Two years ago in March of 2022, Dave and I made a long-awaited trip to the Holy Land. We traveled with a group from South Main, led by Pastor Steve Wells and his Baylor colleague and New Testament scholar, Dr. Todd Still. After we arrived, one of the first places we visited was an olive grove thought to be the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. 

As we got off the bus and walked into the grove, we felt we had entered a holy place. After helpful stage-setting comments by Steve and Todd, we were on our own to walk through the garden, contemplating what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane over 2,000 years ago when Jesus prayed just prior to His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. In the Gospel of Mark, we read a verse similar to the one above in Luke: “Abba, Father,” He said, “everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will.” Matthew also includes this verse: “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done.”  

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus exhibits what the Apostle Paul calls us to do in Thessalonians 5:7 — to “pray without ceasing.” Jesus prayed in private, in public, before important decisions, before and after healing someone, among other instances. This was such a regular part of Jesus’ life, that in Luke’s Gospel, verse 22:39 He writes, “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives…and knelt down and prayed.” He also gave us a model for prayer called The Lord’s Prayer which includes the words: “…Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ prayer represents His divinity and His humanness. We witness His intimate relationship with God, His honesty about what was about to happen, His request for another way, and His acceptance of God’s will. Thank you Father, Abba, for Your model for prayer and the example You gave us to follow Your will, even though, sometimes, it is very hard to do.