Friday, August 10, 2012

Thy Will be Done

David and I just finished teaching a series on the Lord's Prayer. For this reason, I have been thinking about prayer a lot lately. In particular, I have been contemplating the phrase, "thy kingdom come, thy will be done."

I wonder, do I pray "thy will be done" prayers or "my will be done" prayers?

Am I imploring God to order the world according to my good pleasure? Do I presume to know the best outcome for any given situation? Have I based my faith on whether or not God responds favorably to my requests? In short, is God my great big vending machine in the sky who is expected to toss down goodies whenever I stick a token prayer in the slot?

Or, am I imploring God to order the world according to His good pleasure? Do I trust Him to know the best outcome for any given situation? Have I based my faith on the fact that God's incredible favor towards me was proven on the cross? In short, is God a loving father who is faithful to bless His children?

I don't know what God's will is for any specific circumstance, but I do know that God's will is always good, pleasing, and perfect.  (Romans 12:2)

Good. Pleasing. Perfect.

Why wouldn't I pray for that?

I suppose because I am usually looking for "quick, fun, and easy."

I ask God to make my life comfortable and neglect the possibility that discomfort could be His tool to change me; to make me more like Jesus. Jesus, who is good, pleasing, and perfect.

Do I think we shouldn't ask God for the things that we want? Of course not. Jesus did. In the Garden if Gethsemane, He begged God for a change of plans! He did not want to go to the cross. He asked God for another way even though He--of all people!-- knew that God would not answer that prayer in the affirmative. Jesus' example proves to me that God welcomes all of our requests.

But Jesus followed His request with the words, "not my will, but yours."

God's will was for Jesus to die. It was not quick, fun or easy. It was slow, painful and hard. It was also good, pleasing, and perfect.

We can ask for quick, fun, and easy. But will we accept a slow, painful, and hard answer? More importantly, will we trust that the hard answers can ultimately result in something good, pleasing, and perfect?

1 comment:

  1. I will never forget a sermon I heard at your church once, by Pastor Joe, on the commandment "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain." He talked about how one of the biggest ways Christians take God's name in vain is to use it as a magic word (or a "great big vending machine in the sky") to get what they want. But His thoughts are so far above - and so much more good, pleasing, and perfect - than ours, that it's no competiton when we compare our wills with His. If only we could "conintually, forever and ever" remember it! The beauty and joy of His ways are completely unequaled.