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Gethsemane Shows You the Hardest Words to Pray

Our most difficult battles in life often mirror Jesus’ struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane. Can you picture Him there beneath the olive trees in the moonlight? Can you hear His weeping?

How to Follow God’s Will in the Chaos of Your Life

(Photo: Garden of Gethsemane olive tree. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

After His last supper with His disciples, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane. With heartache and desperation, He cried out for His Father to intervene—if it was His will.

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

Our greatest challenges come not from the circumstances that press in upon us—no matter how devastating or perplexing—but from the internal struggle of surrendering our will to God. And then trusting Him completely.

Jesus’ time in Gethsemane during Passion Week shows us what to do when faced with overwhelming challenges. Asking God to step in and change my circumstances comes naturally. But surrendering our will to Him? That often proves harder than the trial itself.

We must enter Gethsemane daily and drag our will to the Father in prayer. Here’s how.

Why Surrendering Your Will to God is so Tough

Surrendering your will to God is never easy, but it’s hardest in difficult times. I can think of a few examples:

  • When someone you’ve prayed for years dies unrepentant—“Not my will, but Yours be done.”
  • When living as a godly spouse, parent, or single proves enormously harder than you ever imagined—“Not my will, but Yours be done.”
  • When you lose a job and suddenly face an uncertain future—“Not my will, but Yours be done.”
  • When a disease threatens you or someone your love—“Not my will, but Yours be done.” 
  • When a child is born with a physical or mental defect—“Not my will, but Yours be done.” 

The list only ends when life does. That’s what makes it tough.

How Gethsemane Helps Stretch Our Prayers Past Our Pain

(Photo: Mosaic of Jesus praying in Gethsemane. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Why Surrendering Your Will to God is So Essential

Jesus could not have faced the cross if He had not surrendered His will to the Father that night. Jesus didn’t deserve to be crucified. By all human estimations, it made no sense.

What a different ending the Passion Week would have had if Jesus hadn’t prayed: “Not my will, but Yours be done.”

When life hands you a “raw deal” and solutions seem as gnarled as the olive trunks in Gethsemane, God’s will for you can appear cruel and anything but good. It’s then that you will wage no greater battle than the surrender of your will.

Gnarled olive trees in Garden of Gethsemane

(Photo: Gnarled olive trees in Garden of Gethsemane. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

At that moment, when God’s goodness seems like a farce, you stand only inches away from using anger to justify your sin. But don’t do it.

I promise you: surrendering your will to God lies at the very core of whatever grieves you. And surrendering to the Father with absolute trust—as Jesus did in Gethsemane—remains the only path to peace.

Especially when you can make no sense of it all.

Tell me what you think: How has surrendering your will to God helped you in the past? To leave a comment, just click here.

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