Read Matthew 6:9b-13
This is the fourth devotional in a series focused on the Lord’s Prayer. Each day we look at a phrase from the prayer Jesus shared with his disciples. Today’s phrase is the start of the second sentence in the prayer,” Thy will be done…” This is the second petition of the prayer.
Jesus communicates here the importance of placing the will of God at the front of all things. He will go on to live this out when he prays to God on the night of his arrest. While in the olive grove, he requests that he does not have to endure all the events of the next thirty-six hours but states, “may your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42). Placing the desire that God’s will be done in the forefront of our minds impacts all of which follows. The fulfillment of this request must begin with us personally.
A couple of challenges present themselves when we pray this petition. The first challenge is in answering the question of what is God’s will. Prior to Jesus, the prophet Micah tried to provide an answer when he stated, “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8b) Jesus attempted to not only tell us what God’s will is in his teaching but to also demonstrate it through his actions while living among us.
The second challenge our petition creates is when our will is not in sync with God’s will. We act in ways which appear to rebel against, or at least compete with, God’s will. The Apostle Paul speaks of this challenge by saying, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do…” (Romans 7:9a) This on-going struggle within ourselves stands in contrast with what we say in this prayer. The petition becomes a personal request as well as one for all people on earth.
Jesus’s placement of this petition in the prayer shows us where God’s will belongs in our lives and in the midst of our requests to God. It also challenges us to work toward the fulfillment of the petition in our personal lives as well as in the lives of others.