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Whose Will Be Done? – Who Calls the Shots?

Discerning the Will of GodKey Bible Verse: “May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven.”  – Matthew 6:10

Bonus Reading: John 4:31-34

What if we ask for guidance and God guides us in ways we don’t want to follow? What if we pray for wisdom and the wisdom we receive seems more like nonsense? What if we pray for patience and the answer means nothing but trouble for us?

All of this shouldn’t surprise us. Jesus hinted at the problem when He gave us the Lord’s Prayer. Included in that model prayer were the words [of today’s Key Bible Verse]. The basic difficulty comes clear if we lay it out in a syllogism:

  1. God has a will (or desire) for your life.
  2. But you also have a will (or desire) for your life.
  3. Therefore, when you pray, “Your will be done,” you are asking that His will take precedence over yours.

Only one will can be done at a time. Either He is in control or you are. It’s not easy to pray like that because when you ask that God’s will be done, you’re implicitly asking that your will be overturned, if necessary. It’s not easy to pray that way when you’re standing beside the hospital bed of someone you love.

But then you’re not really in control anyway. It only seems that way.

—Ray Pritchard in The Incredible Journey of Faith

My Response: In what situation am I now prepared to pray, “Your will be done”?

Thought to Apply: Ninety-five percent of knowing the will of God consists in being prepared to do it before you know what it is.—Donlad Grey Barnhouse (Philadelphia pastor)

Adapted from The Incredible Journey of Faith (Crossway, 2005)

Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me to accept your “good and pleasing, and perfect” will, even when that runs counter to my natural desires.

 

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