praying HIS WILL BE DONE (Matthew 6:10)

June 13th, 2024

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

As we continue our study of the Lord's prayer, we now shift our attention away from the character of God toward the will of God. This is a natural transition for us. Knowing who God is helps us to ultimately understand what He wants from us when we pray. Our passage today is a great reminder of how God responds to the prayers we offer Him.

Typically, when we pray we are coming to God with our own concerns and requests. And if we're honest, we already have in mind the kind of answer and intervention we are hoping for. We not only bring to God our problems but also our own preferred solutions. Jesus helps us to renew that kind of attitude in prayer. He begins with praying "your kingdom come". Immediately upon reading this, our minds must be transported away from our current perspectives. Why? Because our current prayer requests are usually clothed in the thought patterns and desires of this world. Therefore, we are naturally not always finely in tune with the desires of God's kingdom when we pray. The Lord knows that we all need to be realigned and humbled in our requests. We must learn to transform our earthly prayers into spiritual prayers. To pray spiritually and righteously is to rid ourselves of selfish thoughts and fixate our hearts on the advancement of God's kingdom. Just as Jesus taught us, to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness even before our own needs (Matthew 6:33). James tells us that we don't receive what we ask for in prayer because we we ask with wrong motives, so that we might spend it on our evil desires (James 4:3). Jesus is calling each of us to reshape our prayer life to be kingdom focused rather than self-focused.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself that many of our own personal pleas to God have little or nothing to do with God's kingdom. This is precisely the point Jesus is making. We are to reflect upon this in a serious way. How much time are our prayers devoted to the spreading of the gospel around us? How many requests are we making for God to use us in spiritual ways for the establishing of His kingdom? Are the prayers I am offering to God each day working toward the name of Jesus Christ being exalted in my family, workplace, church and community? I don't want us to think that God is ignoring our very real needs. He knows them and cares about them (Matthew 6:8). However at the same time, He certainly doesn't want us ignoring the needs of His kingdom in the process.

Jesus goes on in the prayer to pray "your will be done". To pray such a thing is to believe something incredible about God. Namely, that He possesses a sovereign will and direction for every human life. We are not praying to a God that exists to grant wishes to any person bold enough to ask for something. If so, we are only envisioning God to be some sort of genie in a bottle for us. On the contrary, we are praying to the Lord of the universe who is working every second to reveal His divine and perfect will to the world. Therefore, our prayers are not to contradict the very will of the Father. Our prayers are meant to stand in direct alignment with His will. This ought to be a point of reflection for us. We should sit back and analyze the words we offer to God every day. Are we simply praying for more money to make us more comfortable? Are we looking for God to make us more happy in material things or other people? Does our will bare any resemblance to God's will?

This passage should not discourage us from praying and believing God for answers to our problems. Truthfully, it should encourage us to evaluate the posture of our heart when we pray. We shouldn't be daring to ask anything and everything, we should be thoughtful about our prayer requests. But how should we go about this? How should we pray in line with the will of God? There is a clue given in Romans 12:2. "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."  Praying the will of God begins with knowing the will of God. And knowing the will of God comes through reading it in our Bibles. The more and more we stray away from the patterns and fleshly desires of the earth, the more we will have kingdom clarity. And the more we throw ourselves deeply into the scriptures, the more our minds will be renewed by God's wisdom and knowledge. Essentially, we would begin to pray the prayers God would want us to pray.

I am reminded of the kind of prayer life the Lord, Jesus had when He was on the earth. He learned to submit His life to the will of the Father. Let us desire to become more and more like Christ as we offer prayers to our gracious Lord and Saviour.

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