Thy will be done. Matthew 6:10b
As children, many of us learned simple prayers of praise and petition. We thanked God for our food, our families, and our home. We asked for health and safety for our loved ones and a good night’s sleep for ourselves. We prayed and God delivered. And then we grew up.
At some point, we noticed that God didn’t always perform as we requested. Some of our family and friends got sick. At the same time, we were achieving mixed results praying through our own challenges. We asked God to smite the school bully and to make the boy sitting next to us into a new friend. We asked for good grades and winning games. And yet, we kept being mistreated and lonely, and earning disappointing grades, and losing.
We later learned that God is much less like Santa Clause than we hoped. We can ask Him for all manner of things but the results are highly unpredictable. Unless…
Unless we acknowledge that we are fools, and use prayer to seek His wisdom.
Unless we give up trying to direct God, and use prayer to offer ourselves for His direction.
Unless we cease to attempt imposing our will on the universe, and pray, “Thy will be done”.
Those simple words can be the hardest prayer in life. It takes courage to pray that prayer in the midst of life-threatening illness. It takes trust to pray that prayer when we are desperate for a job or for a child. It takes great sacrifice to pray that prayer in the face of unrequited love or unappreciated work.
When those moments come, remember that our Master had the courage to pray that prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, facing death by torture. May our own roads be less demanding. But demanding or easy, long or short, alone or with friends, may all our roads lead to Christ. It is God’s will that we come to Him. Pray that will be done in your life. Whatever road you must take to reach Him, surrender to it and have the courage to pray.