As always, God continues to teach me new things. One thing God has been challenging me with is praying “Thy will be done”. If you are like me, this has been “tacked on” to the end of your prayers. We pray want we think is best, but then since we don’t know the future (and often we don’t understand the whole situation), we quickly add “Thy will be done” almost as a cop-out. We sure don’t want to pray something that is wrong. I think I’ve misunderstood what Jesus meant when He used those words in His example prayer. We already know what God’s will is! It is written throughout the Bible. We know it is God’s will that all people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Also, Jesus gives us an example of a son asking for something from his dad– would his dad give him something harmful? No way. And God is much more loving than a earthly dad. I would venture that we know His will in about 90% of the circumstances we find ourselves praying through.
For example, my sister and her family just adopted an 8 yr old girl from Ethiopia. Meron doesn’t know much English and it has been a trying week. You can probably imagine some of the feelings she has had– taken away from everything she knows, gets on a huge airplane, moves in with a family she has never met that speak a language she doesn’t know and eating food she’s never seen before. What is God’s will in this situation? I think medically a certain amount of grieving is healthy(even though it is painful) when going through something of this magnitude; however, I would argue that when she feels fear, that is not God’s will. So we can pray that God’s will would be done over her life. We can pray that satan would be bound in the name of Jesus over her feelings and thoughts. I don’t think we should be praying “oh Lord, please help her to be excited about this new life and not be fearful, BUT if that is what You think is best, then Thy will be done”. We should be praying “Lord, we want Thy will to be done in her life! we realize these feelings of fear are NOT Your will and we desire YOUR will to be done. Our prayer is that by Your power unleashed by our prayers, satan would be defeated and these fearful thoughts would be gone!”.
This one is a little more controversial. I’m just “dipping my toe” in this area as I pray and seek scripture to align my thoughts and beliefs with His. We have had a few sick kids in our house lately. At one point, Luke had strep throat, impetigo and scarlet fever. As we prayed for him, I found myself having a difficult time thinking that this could be God’s will. God loves my son more than I do. I hated that he was sick and felt terrible. How could this be God’s will? I don’t think it is. I found myself praying (as Jesus said to do) “Lord, Thy will be done in this situation! I cry out to you with all my heart that Your will is done. I believe that You want him healed just as much as I do. I desire this world to be aligned with Your will. In the garden of Eden, there was no sickness. It came from sin and it is now one of satan’s tools and our prayer is that by the mighty, all-powerful, all-loving name of Jesus, THY WILL BE DONE!” Was Luke instantly healed? No. But does that mean it was God’s will that he was sick? Is God’s will always done here on earth? We would have to say, emphatically “No”. We look around us and see millions of people that are not saved– clearly not His will.
It is difficult for me to believe that there is any way it’s God’s will that he was sick. Does God take us through difficult times (physically and emotionally) and can He use sickness to draw us to Him? Absolutely, but He would rather not! He would much, much rather draw us by His love. It is His will that I come willingly and not have to go through those trying times. It is my stubborness and hard-heartedness that “forces” Him to use these other means to get my attention and to “encourage” me to turn to Him.