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Comments

Darin

When does the book come out?

This is good. I don't comment because I am still waiting for more.

Please give me more.

Thanks.

Lisa

I recently changed my prayers to reflect that I believe I will receive what I ask, only if it's what God wills for the Kingdom. I think it is hard to tell someone who has lost a loved one to cancer that their prayers might not have been answered because it was not the best thing for the Kingdom; nevertheless, we cannot know what God's plans are.

I have really been enjoying this series too. Thanks for all your work on it. :)

Ben

Wade, your last paragraph is very strong, and I couldn't agree more. I do wonder about the thing Jesus prayed for in the garden. Was the "cup" the temptation he was experiencing in the garden or the cross? It makes more sense to me, when fitted with Heb. 5.7-8, that he was praying that the garden agony would end. It's sometimes more agonizing to wait in those moments leading up to a horrific experience than to just get it over with. I thought Mel Gibson accidently (or maybe purposefully) picked up on this. Jesus begged the Father and looked very ragged until he saw the torches coming. He was then filled with a resolve that stayed with him the rest of the night and the next day. The Heb. writer indicates that his prayer was heard. What's that mean? Of course, all his prayers were "heard" but I take it the Hebrew writer mentions it because it was honored/answered. The terrible fight in the garden ended. But it took three prayers. It took a tenacious spirit Who believed that the Father was listening and could and would act. Either way, your point is much needed. (and i'm probably wrong about Jesus' prayer--it just fits the story better at least to my flimsy understanding)

Wade Tannehill

Darin,

Thanks for your kind words.

Wade Tannehill

Lisa,

Thanks for reading. I commend you for a prayer life resolved to kingdom priorities. It took me a very long time to get to that point. I'm not sure I would boast that I've completely arrived, but I'm farther down the road than I used to be.

As far as the person who lost a loved one and is asking "Why?" I do not offer any answers. I certainly would not say it was "God's will" and I doubt you would. Whether an individual takes comfort in assuming that about one's own situation is between God and the person. The sovereignty of God is complex enough that none of us have all the answers. I think God's answer to Job was that the "why" of suffering is not something we can totally understand from this side of heaven.

Some are comfroted to think that their "unanswered" prayers are because of God's higher purposes. Others would be resentful to think God would do such a thing.

preacherman

Wade,
Great post brother.
As you know I told you over the phone that I totally surrendered my life, family, finances, ministry, over to God. I told God that night that it is no longer I but it was all about Him in ever aspect of my life. He was going to be in total control. I have seen his blessings. God bless you brother you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

Wade Tannehill

Ben,

Thanks for letting me in on what stood out to you. I appreciate that kind of feedback.

As far as your take on Jesus' prayer, I had never considered that before. Interesting. I thought of the cup as the cross because of the prophetic metaphor regarding the cup of God's wrath. Jesus was about to experience the wrath against sin.

But your idea makes sense too. As far as Jesus' prayer being answered I think that either way, it was not only "heard," but answered. An answer does not always mean an affirmative answer (And of course you already know that). But it was answered in accordance with God's will.

Vicki

Wade,
I'm enjoying this series and everyones comments.

I agree with what Ben stated regarding the "cup". Also, I would just like to point out that there is no "If" in Jesus' prayer. Jesus 'knew' his Fathers will when he prayed that prayer in Gethsemane.

Wade Tannehill

Vicki,
I appreciate your keen observation that the "if" was absent in Mark's account of Jesus' prayer. Thank you for that.

But if you compare the details from Luke's account of this same prayer, you will find that there is indeed an "if" in Jesus' prayer. Luke 22:42 reads: "Father, IF you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done."

The King James Version reads: "Father if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine be done."

I would say that the phrase "IF you are willing" or "IF thou be willing" is equivalent to "IF it be thy will."

We can also compare Matthew's account of the same prayer where we find two "IFs." In Matthew 26:39 Jesus prays, "IF it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." In verse 42 he prays, "Father IF it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." The phrase "if it is possible" is to say "If it can possibly be in accordance with your will."

The absence of the "if" would have added weight to Ben's view, although, as I pointed out in my response to Ben, in the Old Testament prophets the "cup" metaphor refers to God's wrath (i. e., punishment against sin). If Jesus' reference to the "cup" is consistent with his prophetic heritage then the "cup" could quite plausibly be a reference to the cross, which would mean that he was praying that if there was any other way, then his petition would be for the Father to grant it.

Moreover, just because Jesus knew God's will did not make compliance easy or preferable. Jesus did say, "NOT what I will, but what you will" meaning that there could be some discrepancy between what he (as a human of flesh and emotion) would want and what the Father would want. Jesus surrendered to what the Father wanted, putting his own desires aside. There are likewise times in our lives in which a believer's will and the Father's will could be at odds. We should humbly submit to what he wants, which may at times mean putting our own desires aside.

But unlike Jesus, who knew what it would take to save the world, we cannot always claim to know what the Father's will is in a given situation. So to pray "if it be thy will" could be a plea of ignorance as we're searching for help with a decision or as we're asking God to orchestrate the right outcome when we may not know what that should be.

A person who prays "if it be thy will" might actually be meaning the same thing Jesus meant when he said, "Not what I will, but what you will."


Bobby Valentine

This has been a very good series Wade.

Shalom,
Bobby Valentine

paula harrington

I second what Bobby said. Very good series.

Gallagher

Wade,

To your statement, "Likewise, prayer is not merely about getting what we want. It's about aligning ourselves with what is best in God's grand scheme. This isn't to say that prayer only changes us, but that it never changes God."

Great thought! I may "borrow" that sometime.

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