“And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?” (Luke 6:46)

In my haste to get outside to the pool, I didn’t see that the glass sliding door was shut. Wham! The abrupt stop got my attention. It also got me thinking about how often I can see God but yet am blocked from his power, just like I could see the pool but couldn’t get to it.

What keeps us from God’s great power? Sin keeps us apart from God but so does something else, something we all struggle with. Self-will. God allows us to have self-will. He doesn’t step in and overrule that. So when we pray for Him to do things our way, it is our self-will that is blocking Him from us. The secret to unlocking the power of prayer is to relinquish our will and allow and accept God’s will for us.

Relinquishing our self-will over to God can be hard to do. We want to be in control. But Jesus taught us the secret that unlocks the power of prayer when He taught us to pray: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-13) Jesus didn’t tell us to pray for what we wanted, or how we thought God should work in our lives. He taught us to relinquish our will over to God’s will.

Jesus also showed us how to relinquish our self-will over to God when He prayed “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42.) Even facing the brutal and painful death by crucifixion, Jesus accepted God’s will and the power that was unleashed on the cross has been in the world ever since.

We must relinquish our will with a happy heart. We can’t fake it. It doesn’t work that way. We must trust that God has the best plan for us, even if we don’t understand it. If we don’t trust, how will we ever let Him lead us? How will we ever experience His power in our lives?

What can you do today to relinquish your self-will and allow God to lead you? What prayer might you say that removes the block from God, and allows Him into your life for your highest and best?