The prayer is ‘Thy will be done.’ Recently I came across this is a novel by Jan Karon. At the time it made sense and didn’t sound so hard. But then God, as He so often does, made me put it into practice.
In our family a situation occurred where this was tested to the limit. I spent a lot of time pleading, cajoling, arguing and trying to convince the Lord to answer my prayer the way I wanted Him to. I found endless reasons why it would be better for everyone the way I suggested.
In the end I was forced to confront the very real possibility that it might not be His Will I was asking for and that God might have an entirely different answer in mind.
I struggled for awhile against accepting this. As a result I had no peace about the situation or assurance of answered prayer. I lived in fear of what would happen. My prayers always ended with ‘I know it has to be your will not mine but…’
What came to my mind was the prayer of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane: if possible take this cup from me but not my will but yours, Luke 22:42. God answered that prayer and Jesus gave up his life. Quite simply I was scared of what God might be asking me to give up if I prayed His will be done. So the struggle went on.
Then one Sunday at church, our minister preached from Luke 14:25-35 about counting the cost and being prepared to take up our cross and follow him regardless. God convicted me that I had to yield to His will not my own. There needed to be no buts… no conditions to the prayer – simply Your will be done. I finally was able to pray that prayer and mean it.
A few days after that last prayer God answered in a way that left me praising Him. My worst fears had not been realized. God had granted the answer to my prayer, but only after I’d left the decision to Him and didn’t try and tell Him what He ought to do. And the answer was beautiful, one I could rejoice about and not what I had feared might happen at all. In the end we just need to let God be God because He s the One in charge. He knows all the facts and what is best for everyone concerned.