Your Will Be Done
Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:36-46
[36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Couldn't you men keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." 42 He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done." 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"]
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
“Whatever.” Maybe you’ve heard someone say this when they had to deal with something they didn’t like.
When we pray to God, saying, “Your will be done . . .” (Matthew 6:10)
[10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. ]-is that like saying “Whatever” and throwing up our hands in resignation?
By no means! This petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” asks God to make our world as he originally intended it to be. It asks that our small, selfish desires be replaced by God’s expansive, good desires for all people everywhere. It asks that our world’s corrupt and grinding systems align with God’s just and blameless ways so that everything in creation can flourish.
When we pray “Your will be done . . . ,” we commit ourselves to participating in God’s good will for our lives and our world.
The best example of praying “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is in Jesus’ prayer on the night before his death. Facing a situation far worse than any of us could imagine, Jesus aligned himself completely with God’s will as he said, “Not as I will, but as you will.”
Jesus’ submission to God’s will has brought us eternal blessings. When we submit to God’s will, we also bring blessings to his world.
Help us, Father, to do your will in our lives and in your world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.