How to Surrender to God's Will When You're in Pain


Jesus prayed for God to take away the cross. But more than that, he surrendered to God’s will. This is how you should pray.

“Abba, Father . . . everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36 (NIV) 

To have the mind of Christ means you want to do God's will, even when it's painful, even when it's difficult, even when it seems impossible. Jesus gave us the ultimate example of this the night before he went to the cross.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was in agony knowing the pain he was going to face the next day—not just the physical pain but the emotional and spiritual pain of being separated from his Father as he carried the shame and weight of our sin. 

Even then, Jesus prayed, “Abba, Father . . . everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36 NIV). In Gethsemane, Jesus said that he wanted to do God's will, not his own, even if it was painful.

Any time you're in pain, pray the Garden of Gethsemane prayer. There are three parts to it. The first part is faith. Jesus believed God had the power to change his situation. You can pray that, too. Whatever kind of situation you're going through right now, you can start by praying in faith, “God, I know you’ve got the power to change this.” 

Then ask God for his help. It's appropriate to say, “God, I'm asking for your help. I'm in a lot of pain right now, and I need some relief. I'm asking for you to do a miracle. I know you have the power to change the situation, and I’m asking you to do it.”

The third part of the Gethsemane prayer is surrender, and its key to learning to have the mind of Christ. Pray like Jesus did: “Lord, even though I'm asking you to take away the pain, I surrender to you. More than anything else, even more than relief, I want your will, not mine.”

Are you ready to say that to God in your hour of greatest need? When you do, you show your spiritual maturity and trust in God to continue to provide for you and use your trouble for good. 

Talk It Over

If you knew that tomorrow you would face your biggest trial in life, what would you pray to God today? 

Do you believe that God has the power to change your worst situation? How do your prayers reflect what you believe?

In what other ways did Jesus model for us how to surrender to God? 

Premium Resource: Daily Hope Advent Calendar and Devotional Set 

This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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