The Hard Prayer

“Not my will.” Can I be honest? Those are the three scariest words I have ever prayed. Not because they represent me relinquishing control, because I already know I do not control anything, but because they represent my heart’s willingness to forfeit even the illusion of control. After praying those words—and meaning them—there is no space to pretend that I control anything. Everything I love is spread before the Father to do with as He sees fit.

As I kneel at the bedside of my children, hopeful their days with us are many, desirous that their joy abounds, and that their heart delights in the Lord. Yet, as I pray for health and protection, I surrender them. Not my will, Lord, but Yours.

As I poke at this keyboard, praying that God would chose to bless my desire to worship Him this way, I surrender my goals, ambitions, and talent to Him. Not my will, Lord, but Yours.

As my husband travels to Haiti for mission work, I pray everyday for physical protection, powerful impact, and his safe return home. Still, I must surrender even those desires. Not my will, Lord, but Yours.

Just as Christ submitted to the will of the Father, just as Christ uttered the hard prayer—not my will—so must I. In everything I do, in everything I desire, the heart driving my prayers must yield to the will of the Father. And if His will is different than mine, if His will directs me down a path I’d rather not take, even that resistance must be surrendered in recognition that His ways are higher than mine.

Even when it is hard, Lord. Not my will, but Yours. May that be the honest prayer of my heart.


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