“It naturally follows that if God’s kingdom is in the process of coming, then it must be God’s will that is driving it. That would make sense. And since the kingdom is God’s and not ours, so is ‘the will of God.’ Of course, we wish it weren’t, because we’d rather pray, ‘My will be done.’ But that’s not what Jesus said,” writes Dr. Bill Carl.
The verb for “be done” is written in the Aorist Imperative Passive. What that means is that God is the one who is accomplishing the being done of God’s will.
There are a couple of realities we need to come to terms with when it comes to God’s will:
- God’s will is sometimes mysterious.
- God is good. God knows what is best for us. And, God only desires what is best for us. The scriptures tell us that God is the giver of all good gifts (James 1:17).
First, God’s will is sometimes mysterious.
I have held the hands of youth kids who’s mom is dying of cancer. And no matter how much the kid prays, the mom is dying. And the kid wants to know what God is not answering her prayers.
I wish I knew. I wish I had answers. I don’t know. I don’t know why some people live to their old age and why some die so young. I am not sure where God’s will fits into all of this.
What I do know is that it would be cruel and wrong to say to this young kid that it was God’s will to kill her mom through cancer.
Even though I cannot say that this was God’s will, I can proclaim that God is good. That even a death like this cannot separate us from God’s love. I can assert that God’s heart breaks at the loss and pain that this kid feels. And I can have the audacity to claim, because of God’s goodness, that even this loss and pain God will not waste but redeem.
You see, to pray “Thy will be done,” means to believe in our core that God is going to surprise us in ways we never imagined.
So, what does it mean practically to pray, “Thy will be done?”
First, it means to get out of the way. God is at work in our world. God has a purpose and God is actively at work to bring about God’s will. The way we join God in that plan and will is to get out of God’s way. Don’t let my will, my desires, my thoughts become obstacles.
Second, it means to trust that God is good. Not only is God at work to accomplish his will, our God is good. God knows what is best for us, and God wants what is best for us. We may not understand it at the time, but trust God anyway.
Yes, God. “Thy will be done.”