In this lesson we will study what I call the Prayer of Submission.
Others refer to this as the Prayer of Consecration or the Prayer of
Dedication. All three titles are appropriate, as we will see.
“And he [Jesus] came out, and went, as he
was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed
him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye
enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's
cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be
willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:39-42)
Here we find Jesus about to sacrifice Himself for the sins of the world.
Although Jesus was fully God, he was also fully Man. For a brief
moment here, He was completely overwhelmed and overcome by His
humanity. This just reveals how human this precious Man really
is. He fell to His knees, overcome by the thought of the tremendous
suffering that lay before Him. He fell to His knees and cried out,
“Father, if it is at all possible, please, please keep
this from happening to Me.”
Jesus no sooner got those words out of His
mouth than the real Jesus, the Spirit Man within, burst forth with the
words, “No. No. Not the will of My flesh and soul, but the will
of My Spirit, the will of My Father be done.” With those words came a
Holy Spirit surge of anointing that enabled Jesus to continue to the
Cross. He was then able to do so willingly, with a proper attitude of
love and without resenting the sinful human race who
had brought it to this time of horrible judgment. (Hebrews 9:14)
When Jesus prayed, “If it be Thy will …” or
“The will of My Father be done,” He was praying the Prayer of
Submission. As a matter of fact, this is the only time in all of
Scripture where we find Jesus praying, “If it be Thy will.”
Never when someone approached Jesus to be
delivered from demon spirits, to be healed of sickness or any other physical
need, did He ever pray, “Father, if it be Thy will, heal this
person.” Jesus knew, according to the written Word of God, that it
was always God’s will to deliver the possessed and oppressed, to heal the
sick and to provide for the needy
Corrected a Man for Praying Wrongly
One day a man in need of healing approached
Jesus, praying the Prayer of Submission when he should have been praying
the Prayer of Faith. Jesus actually corrected him.
“And, behold, there came a leper and
worshipped him [Jesus], saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me
clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will;
be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” (Matthew 8:2,3)
This is the only time in all of Scripture
that anyone ever prayed, “If it be Thy will” when requesting healing.
Jesus actually corrected the man, informing him that he was using the wrong
type of prayer. By telling the man, “It is My will,” He was really
telling him, in essence, “You don’t have to pray the Prayer of Submission
when it comes to healing. It’s always My will to heal the sick as
long as the Biblical criteria are being met. That is clear in My
Word. Therefore, you should be praying the Prayer of Faith.
However, in this case, you didn’t know that, so I’ll have mercy on you. But from now
on, pray the Prayer of Faith when it comes to having your needs met.”
Then He reached out, touching the man and healing him to confirm His
We are to only pray the Prayer of
Submission or the “If it be Thy will” Prayer when we are dedicating our
lives, consecrating our lives and submitting our lives to do the will of
God. I will share an illustration.
We Properly Prayed the Prayer of Submission
One day I was lying on my bed in Oklahoma reading a
book. I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Vermont.” I
immediately had the impression that He was telling me that we were to
relocate our Ministry to Vermont. However, I
was not yet completely sure whether this was the Lord or not. So,
here is what we did. I said, “Father, Massachusetts or New Hampshire would be better as
far as I’m concerned. But if it’s Your will for us to move to Vermont, we consecrate,
dedicate and submit ourselves to Your will. Just show us what, when
and how, and we will obey You, willingly. We will go to Vermont, if it be Thy
will, in Jesus’ Name.”
We then gave God opportunity to show us
whether it was His will or not. As He continued to bear witness with our spirits, we knew
that He was telling us to go to Vermont.
When praying for healing, financial
provision or the salvation of family members, the Scripture is quite
clear. You take hold of those Scriptures and begin to thank God for
them with the Prayer of Faith. However, there is no Scripture that
says, “John and Barbara, move to Vermont.” So, we
prayed the Prayer of Submission and we said, “We submit ourselves to Your
will in this matter.” God is faithful and will always make Himself perfectly clear.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine
own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall
direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5,6)
It is wrong to take the words “If it be Thy
will” and tack them onto the end of every type of prayer. That is
religion and ignorance of God’s Word. We only pray the Prayer of
Submission when the written Word of God does not make plain the perfect will
of God for our individual lives.
It is God’s will to heal your body. (1Peter
) It is God’s
will to prosper you. (Philippians 4:19) It is God’s will to save even
your most stubborn family member. (Acts ) Therefore,
it is wrong to pray, “If it be Thy will” in these and other situations
where the Word of God is plain and clear.
The only time Jesus prayed, “If it be Thy
will” was when He was consecrating, dedicating and submitting Himself to
the will of God.
The only time the Believer should pray “If
it be Thy will” is when they are consecrating, dedicating and submitting
himself or herself to God’s perfect plan for their individual lives.
The road of life goes over mountains, down
into valleys, around many bends and curves. It is not possible for
the Believer to see all that lies ahead.
The Holy Spirit knows all
things, including what lies ahead. He can be trusted
to safely see us through when we pray, “Whatever Your will is, I will do it
and I will do it joyfully. I consecrate, dedicate and submit myself
to You, whatever Your plan is, in Jesus’ Name.”
Now you know how and when to pray the
Prayer of Submission.