“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus modeled for us how we should pray. In fact, He lived that prayer, always appealing to His Father’s will. “The Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19)
But is that how we pray? Don’t we typically pray for OUR will to be done? Fix my problems. Heal my sickness. And quickly please. Too often, if we’re honest, we treat God like a fast food worker at a heavenly Burger King:
God:”How can I help you today?”
Me: “I’d like a deluxe meal with double portions of happiness, power, and prosperity. Heal me and make me happy. No suffering or pain or sorrow. And plenty of comfort and recognition on the side. And I’d like to king size everything. Oh wait, not like the King Jesus had it. I want only what tastes good, not what’s actually good for me. I know He prayed “Thy will be done” but honestly, I’d really like MY will be done, if it’s all the same. And can I get a ticket to heaven with that? It’s a free gift today, right?”
We want what we want, when we want it. And true, God wants us to pray for our needs. If we truly love Him, He will give us our desires, because the desires of the follower of Christ are the desires of Christ…to do what the Father is doing, to honor God.
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ CS Lewis, The Great Divorce
Humble yourself. Confess your sins. Draw close to God and ask Him for your needs. The prayers of a righteous man (and woman and child) are effective and accomplish much. (James 5) But let’s be the people who ask chiefly for God’s will to be done…in our work and our play, our banking, our striving and resting. Let our greatest prayers be for His name to be honored…in the world, in our country (regardless of your political leaning), in our town, our church, and our home. Let’s ask Him to reveal more of Himself to us and through us; to speak through our sorrow and our joy and to use our lives for the sole purpose of making Him known. . .
According to His will.