Thy will be done - How do I pray in God's will?
A prayer in the Bible commonly known as the Lord's Prayer contains the phrase, "Thy will be done." What did Jesus mean when He instructed us to pray that God's will be done? He modeled this prayer for us as a way of telling us that when we pray to God, we should ask Him to handle every situation in the way that He deems best. How God chooses to handle something is His will, and Jesus was teaching us in the Lord's Prayer that we should always pray for God's will to be done in all situations.
When we were young, we needed to obtain our parents' permission before we went somewhere or before we ate something, and so on. Our parents were in control, and they made decisions by their will concerning us, their children. They expected us to be obedient and ask their permission; and when they had given us their decision, they also expected us to obey.
This is an earthly picture of our relationship with God. He is our Heavenly Father, and we as His children, must come to Him and ask what His will is for our lives. When we repented and turned to God for forgiveness, we also made Him the Lord of our lives. That means He is in control, and it is His decisions (His will) that we must seek for everything that affects us. Praying for God's will is an act of obedience, just like asking for our parents' permission.
Whether we actually say, "Thy will be done" when we pray, or whether we use a less formal phrase, it is important to pray in God's will. It is acceptable for us to tell God what our will is for a given situation, but then we should always defer to Him and let Him know that we desire His will above our own. Even Jesus did this in the Garden of Gethsemane when He was facing torture and death on the cross: "…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'" (Matthew 26:39).
When we pray, "Thy will be done," we can also ask God to reveal His will clearly to us. We can pray with a humble heart, putting our own will aside and always seeking God's will. Before each step we take, we can know that God will honor us by making His will known, so that we can be obedient to it.
Learn More about the Lord's Prayer!
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