“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)
“Whatever.” Maybe you’ve heard someone say this when they had to deal with something they didn’t like.
When we pray to God, saying, “Your will be done …” (Matthew 6:10) — is that like saying “Whatever” and throwing up our hands in resignation?
By no means! This petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” asks God to make our world as he originally intended it to be. It asks that our small, selfish desires be replaced by God’s expansive, good desires for all people everywhere. It asks that our world’s corrupt and grinding systems align with God’s just and blameless ways so that everything in creation can flourish.
When we pray “Your will be done … ,” we commit ourselves to participating in God’s good will for our lives and our world. The best example of praying “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is in Jesus’ prayer on the night before his death. Facing a situation far worse than any of us could imagine, Jesus aligned himself completely with God’s will as he said, “Not as I will, but as you will.”
Jesus’ submission to God’s will has brought us eternal blessings. When we submit to God’s will, we also bring blessings to his world.
Help us, Father, to do your will in our lives and in your world. Amen.