“To pray ‘thy will be done’ I must be willing, if the answer requires it, that my will be undone.” – Elisabeth Elliot
How many times have we recited the Lord’s Prayer and said the line, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” without even thinking about the gravity of those words?
Often, we use prayer to ask for things from God. Many times, when we need help, especially in desperate situations, God is the only one we can turn to. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is saying that prayer is less about asking God to give us our way and more about seeing God’s will done here on earth. Our worldly priorities and the priorities of heaven are in constant conflict. This means that prayer is about aligning our expectations to God’s purpose rather than asking God to conform to OUR expectations.
Jesus prayed “thy will be done” and was the only person – ever – to completely fulfill God’s will. Jesus did this for us. We can try to do God’s will, but not to earn His favor but to spread His goodness to the world. We listen to God’s word and obey his will because it is our joy, not because we think it will make God happy. This is what we were created for.
So what does it mean to pray “thy will be done”? One thing it represents is asking God to come into our cities, government, culture, and homes and defeat every kind of evil. He calls us to desire to see our world looking how God intended it. God’s will is for abundant joy and lasting peace. His will is to eradicate sin, evil, and death and wipe our slate clean through Jesus’s resurrection.
We are assets in this by surrendering to him and aligning our priorities with His. Using our prayers to ask for these things will accomplish His will and, in turn, answer many of our own prayers. And if not, He is still good.