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Praying "Thy Will Be Done"

Thursday, October 31, 2013

So when do we pray for God's will? When to relinquish?

By Rick Hamlin, New York, New York

Each phrase of the Lord’s Prayer is worthy of a book, but the one that catches me, the hardest to live by and accept is “Thy will be done.” For me, it only comes after a battle of wills, that point of surrender. You can’t really be helped by anyone unless you acknowledge your need. I can get so defensive when I hear criticism that I’m unable to listen to the good in the critique.

Same thing happens spiritually. If God knows what I need better than I know myself, why put up so much resistance? The old adage (not to be found anywhere in the Bible) “God helps those who help themselves” is true... until it’s not true.

We can sail through a dozen trials until we hit a wall. God’s right there to lend a hand but usually we’re so stubborn—or at least I am—that we’re not willing to reach out and grasp it. We get so used to punching the wall, our hands balled into fists, that we don’t know how to relax and accept the helping hand. Have you ever watched someone parallel park?

I can look out from my bedroom window down to the street below, a God’s-eye view. I’ll see a car pull out, a car behind waiting to take its place. The driver will check to see if there’s enough room. “You’ve got at least a foot at either end,” I want to shout. I watch the driver pull forward and back up, turning the steering wheel. Some drivers are great at it. Others are miserable even with plenty of extra space, rolling up over the curb, bumping the car in front. From my exalted position I can see exactly what they need to do. “Turn now!” I’ve been known to say. If they’d only listen. If they’d only hear.

I suspect I’m often like those hapless drivers. “It’s good to remember that not even the Master Shepherd can lead if the sheep have not this trust and insist on running ahead of him or taking side paths or just stubbornly refusing to follow him,” wrote Catherine Marshall in her Guideposts story “The Prayer of Relinquishment.”

So when do we say “Thy will be done?” When to relinquish? Apparently all the time. At least if we follow the guidance of the Lord’s Prayer. It’s there up towards the front of the prayer: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

This article is excerpted from 10 Prayers You Can’t Live Without: How to Talk to God About Anything.

I don't know about you, but giving up that power to Him is difficult. Like the author, I struggle with it daily but pray that he is never giving up on me-I am a work in progress. How are you doing??

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am only human. I think I can do it on my own but just can't see to do it right. Time to let God take over. HUGS!
    2671 days ago
    I am so thankful that He is in my life.
    2672 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    What a great puzzle/challenge you've handed us. It's true. We can only "own" the little bits of our lives. The big stuff is outside our control.
    Thank you for offering up something to really think about.
    2672 days ago
    Oh, how true, Pat. It's what we ought to do, so often refuse to relinquish the control that we don't even have in the first place. But what peace we receive when we can tell the Savior, "YOUR will be done in me".
    2672 days ago
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