Every person prays differently and many follow the so called models for prayer. Today, the one searching will surely find many such models. One, however, is the most well known and most often used – Jesus’ prayer from Matthew 6:9-13. Without a doubt this model offers a lot of important information concerning the content of our prayers. From all verses let us focus our attention to verse 10 and more specifically to the phrase “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
In this lesson on prayer which Jesus gives his disciples, as well as to us today, the leading place of the prayer for God’s will (notice – without conditions on it – the prayer is for God’s will as it is and whatever it might be) reflects its importance. Jesus is teaching us to pray for God’s will before we pray for our daily or long-term needs. Thus, as we begin our prayers with an honest request for the fulfillment of God’s will, God’s Spirit who leads us in prayer will keep us away from the trap of our own wishes and desires.
Unfortunately, our will does not always agree with God’s will. And this is what makes the prayer for God’s will so difficult. To pray for God’s will (not yours or anyone else’s) means to fully trust that God’s will is the best of all and the most precise of all. Our prayer for God’s will is also a declaration of our readiness to live according to this will, no matter how easy or difficult this will be. And perhaps the most difficult part to accept is: after this prayer we have to obey God’s will, but not our own. Otherwise our prayer is like the pagan’s babbling.
This passage from Matthew isn’t the last in which we see Jesus teaching us on prayer for God’s will. At another – much more difficult time, and before a very tough experience Jesus prays “Abba! Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me. Yet not what I want but what you want” (Mark 14:36). For Jesus God’s will wasn’t easy to swallow, neither is it for us today. But let this not be a barrier for us to pray correctly, because God is faithful. He is always with us, no matter what the circumstances are. We are then left with the challenge to remain faithful in reflecting our prayers through our lives in every single day.
As you pray for whatever need – before all, give praise and thanks to God; pray for His will; lift up your need; and remain true to God’s call for holiness by obeying His will alone.