Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lord's Prayer III

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6.10
Here is a pet peeve of mine: When we recite the Lord's Prayer aloud in worship, we create a misconception. We say the prayer like this is two different ideas. We typically get into a rhythm. There is a certain cadence with which we say the prayer. We say:

Your will be done...
On earth as it is in heaven.

Unfortunately, that would lead us to believe that  we should pray for God's will, and that we should pray that earth should be like heaven. Those are both good and noble objectives for prayer, but what Jesus is asking us to do is much more simple- and much more difficult.

It is simple because we are to pray that since God's will is always done in heaven, it should be done on earth as well. This is a perfect corollary to the previous part of the prayer. When God's Kingdom is manifest fully it will be inevitable that his will will be done. 

It is difficult because of the tremendous burden that this puts on us followers of Jesus. We must always be looking for God's will. This means that we should be praying over each decision that we make, even the most simple and mundane. To be a follower of Christ, to pray in the way that he has taught us, means that we pray for God's will in every situation.

What would Jesus do?
Prayer: Jesus, we do not always understand your will, but we long for it. We do not always appreciate your will, but we want it. Help us to know what your desires are for us and give us the courage to live according to your plan. Amen.  

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