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Engage with Grand Canyon University's (GCU) vibrant Spiritual Life community and take a deeper look at the various ministries that are happening around the world, in your backyard and on our campus. From weekly devotionals to Chapel highlights and features that reflect God's work in the hearts of our students, staff and faculty, each article is presented by GCU's Spiritual Life team and our special guests. We hope that God will challenge and encourage you through His words and the stories about His people that inspire us all.
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Weekly Devotional: Prayers, Plans and God’s Will

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By Breanna Alverson
Life Leader

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Whether you are a long time believer or just starting your personal relationship with Christ, the question of “What is God’s will?” certainly hits close to home. If you have ever prayed over a loved one who is dying or stood next to a friend who has lost everything, this question strikes even harder. Having experienced the loss of a parent, I have wrestled with it over and over again myself. My whole heart is hoping that you will keep wrestling with it in your own life and in that process draw closer to the God of truth to find the answers you need.

Amazingly, we do not have a savior who is distant from us or our struggles, but rather one who has experienced the weight of them firsthand. So, in dealing with this tough question, it is best to look at his example and experience with the will of the Father.

In his life on earth, Jesus set a precedent of praying and talking with the Father. In many accounts, he made time to be alone communing with God as well as praying with his disciples and over the masses. In fact, again and again, God calls us to also pray and present our requests to Him with faith and persistence. He is a good Father whose love is unconditional, and He loves to bless and be with His children in relationship.

So what happens we when we come to God in prayer, presenting our hearts, desires and plans, and the response is not what we want or expect?

Before his coming betrayal and the pain that would follow on the road to the cross, Jesus and his disciples went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray, which was a common practice and something quite usual for him. In this place, Jesus asked his disciples to pray and then walked a bit away to talk to God. He presented his request several times saying, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me.” Jesus did not want to die or endure all that would come on the cross; remember he was both fully man and fully God.

But, he continues in prayer, “Yet not what I will, but what you will.” This is the ultimate surrender and submission! Because of Jesus’ love and obedience to the Father’s plan for man’s redemption, we can have eternal life and personal relationship with God.

Jesus makes this relationship and his choice undeniably clear in John 14:30 saying, “I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” He further explains in John 15:9-13, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

Suddenly Proverbs 3:5-6 has a more vibrant, tangible meaning. If we want God to direct our paths, our plans and our futures, then we need to submit to his purposes – just as Christ did. This obedience is not forced and it does not earn our salvation, but its value is nearly indescribable as it leads to closeness and intimacy in our personal relationship with the Lord Almighty!

Rooted in a Christian heritage, Grand Canyon University’s identity and mission is to help students to find their purpose and pursue it. Learn more by visiting our website or using the Request More Information button on this page.

About Breanna Alverson
Business Administration Major, Colangelo College of Business

Breanna Alverson is junior at Grand Canyon University, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in marketing. In the future, she hopes to be a marketing consultant for non-profit organizations. She loves serving people and has been blessed with the incredible opportunity to work with the Spiritual Life Department on campus as a Life Leader. Originally from Boise, Idaho, Breanna enjoys the outdoors and especially appreciates Arizona’s weather. Some of her favorite memories from this year involve camping, road trips, lakes, hiking, photography and Frisbee.

Read more about Breanna.