Your will be done

YOUR will: not mine but Yours, Lord.

The Lord’s prayer – the “Our Father” – is nothing if not a risky prayer. When we pray “Your will be done” we put aside our will and ask for His will. That’s risky!

At the age of 75, when most of us are hanging up our walking boots, Abraham put on his.  God told him to leave his home in Harran in search of the promised land. “Why me, Lord?” he might have asked, “why not a younger stronger man?”  It was God’s will, not Abraham’s.

Prophets like Jeremiah and Elijah thought they had been left to die: God’s will, not theirs.

Peter was crucified: God’s will, not Peter’s.

And before his crucifixion Jesus prayed: let this cup pass me by, but not my will, Thine be done.

Today Christians are still called to be persecuted, suffer and be killed because of their faith: the Archbishop of Mosul in Iraq was kidnapped by gunmen in 2008 and subsequently found dead. It is easy to see why St. Teresa Avila wrote “God, if that’s how you treat your friends, it’s no wonder you have so few!”

For most of us, most of the time, God’s will is not for us to grow old wandering the desert, trying to keep a wayward people from building and worshipping golden calves; nor that we are left to die as our words fall on the deaf ears of those antagonistic to God’s word; nor does God will that we are persecuted for simply practicing our faith.

In our daily lives, praying “Your will be done” probably only amounts to inconvenience: –   taking the time to help someone, or to listen to someone; –   taking time out every day to pray for ourselves, especially about important decisions, and others; –   forgiving someone when we would rather harbour a grudge; –   biting our tongue when we would rather wound, criticize or lash out at another; –   sharing our faith with a non-believer and risking ridicule;  –   promoting Christian values amongst our family, friends, work colleagues and the wider community.

Praying “Your will be done” is just a meaningless jumble of words if we are not prepared to let God work in and through us.

What is God’s will in MY life?

To deepen my faith? How? To be of service in our faith community? How? To lobby law makers to adopt laws in keeping with God’s word? To join a pressure group? To be of service outside our community?

What IS His will in my life? How will I find out?