Stop Praying for the Easy Way Out

Glacier 2015-2

My girlfriend and I were talking one night about how people always pray for the easy way out. How anytime they endure any form of suffering, mild or severe, they complain how could God ever do that to them and instantly start praying for Him to take the pain away (easy to say when life is pretty comfortable). My pride blinded the fact that I was talking about myself.

Not even a few days later I was crying out to God to take my pain away, not giving a thought to what His will was for me. I just instantly wanted to go back to my easy life where I’m never pushed, I’m not growing and I’m not letting God prune me. Without even realizing how hypocritical I was, I started praying for the easy way out.

This idea of praying for the easy way out or praying for safety is something that I have been wrestling with for years. I wrote a blog a year ago about why I don’t pray for safety and how it feels too contradictory to what I read in Scripture when people were being beheaded, sawed in two or persecuted for proclaiming their faith in Jesus.

But, as Jesus was preparing to be crucified, he went and prayed to God asking if there was another way out.

He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”……………….Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.” So he went to pray a third time, saying the same things again.  -Matthew 26:39, 42-44 (NLT)

It’d be easy to say, “Well, Jesus prayed for the easy way out!” But each time, He doesn’t stop there. He is honest about his grief and how he obviously doesn’t want to be hung on a cross. But he is so willing to do his Father’s will rather than his own.

Whenever we endure hardship, we are so quick to pray for the easy way out. Christians love to pray for God’s will when that means something like which college to choose, which safe and secure job to take, or where to live. But what about when God’s will isn’t safe, comfortable and secure? Or do we only pray for God’s will when either option is something we’d be happy and comfortable in? Jesus knew that he was going to be tortured and killed and he still prayed for God’s will over his own.

Recently I prayed for God to grow me up and prepare me to be the man He is calling me to be in ministry, in relationships, and just in life in general. But then the next day when He answered my prayer, I got mad because it included pain and suffering. I shouldn’t have been surprised when it came, but I was. I guess I didn’t remember that pruning usually doesn’t feel good at the time.

No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.  – Hebrews 12:11

We can have hope in our suffering, that even though it’s painful at the time, God is preparing us and building endurance in us that we may share in his holiness. If we didn’t have Jesus or eternal life, we couldn’t have any joy or hope in our suffering. We would just be suffering for the sake of suffering. But since God made a way for us we can rejoice during suffering and know that God is pruning us to become more and more like Him. If God always gave us the easy way out, would we ever really need to depend on Him?

But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. – 1 Peter 4:13

What about you? Do you tend to pray for your own will rather than God’s will? I think anytime we start complaining or become hopeless during suffering, it is because we are taking our eyes off of Jesus and the hope that we have. So lets fix our eyes on Him, pray for His will over our own and run the race set out before us.

-Daniel Wilde

5 thoughts on “Stop Praying for the Easy Way Out

  1. Katy Richman

    Thank you for sharing this. I had this same element in my prayer life. As I pray his will be done I cry …but it feels more now like relief to me than sorrow. I feel like He is getting ready to show off ( so to say) what he can do if we open the door to Heaven or not. What I mean is God out King of Kings our Father in Heaven our saviour , has been working even when I was hiding,scared,doubtful and disobedient in my life. I use to think that the struggle and pain which went on for many years was my fault. But now Praise God I believe as I see everything turning around He had a plan not just for one area of my life but all of it He …My King is unfolding piece by piece a blessing of completeness of love health security peace stability sobriety family to a family who lost everything but His love. Thank you Jesus for the cross and for bringing me to it. Rather leading I should say. Everything which was stolen Our God is returning . I now see how wonderful Thy will truly will be. And it’s not over yet.He is not finished I know but even so I am thankful for what is coming He won’t leave us unfinished. So many lives are being touched the beauty of what he has and is doing is more than I can express in words .

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  2. Dawn Roberts

    Such perfect timing for this post! Just minutes ago I studied a sermon about this same topic… I’d love to read the post you mentioned from a year ago – about why you don’t pray for safety. I have been struggling with that concept, as well.

    I think Matthew 26:41 – where Jesus is telling Peter to “watch and pray” is also encouraging. He KNOWS that our flesh is weak. God sends our trials to make us stronger. But satan wants us to turn our trials into temptations to make us sin. Knowing this ahead of time, should motivate our “prep prayers” – that instead of praying for smooth sailing, we pray for our Father to prepare us to face the issues that are coming in our life… Praying for you and our Brothers and Sisters as we persevere here until we are promoted to Heaven. 🙂

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  3. zak kruse

    That is SO true! I am guilty of asking for the easy way out as well. Its kinda cool, this week I was fighting being depressed and my first prayer was “Oh no, not this again, I just got done dealing with this. Please take this away!”. As I prayed God changed my perspective to walking through it and allowing it to shape my character. I had just read how Charles Spurgeon suffered from bouts of depression before God would do big things in his life. I was encouraged knowing that if I walk through this faithfully I will come out on the other side being more like Jesus!

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