Two words of heartbreaking submission appear in Luke’s recounting of Jesus’ desperate prayer in the Garden (22:42): ‘if’ and ‘nevertheless’: “Father, if you are willing”; “nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” The request is sandwiched in-between: “remove this cup from me.”
It was no small request. The cup was poison: capture and torture and death on a cross. Because of Jesus’ submission, I know I can pray boldly. But do I sometimes pray too boldly? “Father, I want patience … and I want it now!”
When I insist on telling God what I want, do I fail to trust in His omniscience – His power to know what I need? Or His omnipotence — His power to provide? Or His unfailing power to love me and see me as pure and blameless, washed clean by His Son?s blood?
Shouldn’t I frame my requests in the same submissive way Jesus did — with an ‘if’ before, and a ‘nevertheless’ after?