Thy Will Be Done
I would venture that the two most familiar passages in all the Scriptures are the 23rd Psalm and the so-called ‘Lord’s Prayer’. Oddly enough, that would hold true in both the secular world as well as the ‘Christian’ world. To illustrate: at nearly every graveside scene depicted on television or the big screen, after singing, ‘Amazing Grace’, someone will stand before the mourners gathered round about and, with a quiver in his voice, solemnly read, “The Lord is my shepherd….”. That seems to hold true whether the dearly departed was a rotten gunslinger or a young innocent mother of two. Then, upon completion of that little ritual, the mourners will all dutifully say, “Amen”, wipe their eyes, and turn away. Touching scene!
Of course, the other familiar passage is the Lord’s model prayer. One can repeat any petition in that prayer, and practically everyone within hearing can immediately identify it as part of the ‘Lord’s prayer’—especially the, “give us this day our daily bread…” part. At many social gatherings, rather than someone offering an extemporaneous prayer, the MC will lead the attendees in reciting Jesus’ model prayer.
Also, within that model prayer is the familiar little phrase, “Thy will be done…” Before entering that hallowed zone, there should be flashing yellow lights (like at a school zone). Slow down and pay attention! That could perhaps be the most important petition in the whole prayer, yet we breeze right through it without even realizing what we are pledging. We get so caught up with, “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme” that we fail to realize that we might be asking for something outside God’s will. We must never, ever lose sight of the fact that He answers all our prayers; but sometimes He says, “No”, and at other times He says, “Later”. When we don’t get our way we are quick to say that our prayers went unanswered; when in reality, He said, “No!” We must accept the fact that in some cases it is not His will to honor that particular request. In James 4:3 we read, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures (NKJV)”..
On a personal note, when my dear sweetheart was diagnosed with dementia, I prayed for at least the first 6 or 7 years that our loving Lord would heal her. With tears in my eyes, I begged and begged! Please, please, dear God! I don’t know that I have ever prayed for anything more fervently. I never doubted His power to answer my prayers. I just finally realized that it might not be our Father’s will to heal her, and He answered my prayers with, “No!” There is a beautiful passage where God told His weeping prophet, Jeremiah, “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope (29:11 NASB)”. I hopefully feel that that reassuring promise might very well apply to me also.
I was reminded once again that our Heavenly Father’s only begotten Son prayed that that bitter cup would pass from Him, but then He graciously added, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done (Luke22:42 NKJV).” We all know that if God had saved His Son from that awful cross, we would all be doomed forever. Whew! Thank goodness, He said, “No”.
Thy Will Be Done