What Jesus Could Have Prayed

Hovering over Matthew 26 this morning and a garden. A garden called Gethsemane, born of another garden, Eden. A garden of obedience made necessary because of a garden of disobedience. A garden of divine prayer, God’s response to a garden of human pride.

And as I chew on it, I imagine what Jesus could have prayed.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and troubled. He said to them, “I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.” Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me . . . provide Me here and now with more than twelve legions of angels.” 

(Matthew 26:36-39a, 53b CSB)

Peter pulled a sword when they came to arrest Jesus (Mt. 26:51, Jn. 18:10), a single sword. Jesus could have called 72,000 angels. With a whisper He could have beckoned a football stadium of mighty, spiritual warriors. With a word to His Father, Gethsemane could have been flooded with a cohort of 6,000 heavenly beings to protect Jesus, along with eleven other cohorts, one to stand fast for each of His disciples.

“Father, let ’em have it!” That’s what Jesus could have prayed.

But that’s not what Jesus prayed.

He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” . . . Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.” . . . He went away again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. 

(Matthew 26:39, 42, 44 CSB)

Three times He prayed as He anticipated the cross. Three times He petitioned His Father with the same petition as “being in anguish, He prayed more fervently, and His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Lk. 22:44). Three times He could have prayed, send My horse, dispatch My army, give Me My sword. Instead, He embraced the cross.

Not as I will, but as You will.

Praise God Jesus didn’t pray what He could have prayed.

He could have called ten thousand angels
To destroy the world and set Him free.
He could have called ten thousand angels,
But He died alone, for you and me.

(A hymn from my past by Ray Overholt, 1959)

Behold, what manner of love!

O’ what wondrous grace!

To Jesus be all praise!

To God be the glory!


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2 Responses to What Jesus Could Have Prayed

  1. Leeanne says:


  2. brent94380af445 says:

    Yes, we are thankful. I can’t imagine what Jesus was going through, only that he did. And I am so glad.

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