It is easy to pray for good things. We want our loved ones to be healthy and safe. We desire for our country to turn to God in repentance. It is good to pray that our children will come to know and love Christ more deeply. These are good things. But do we have the courage to pray for something more?
I think we sell God short in our prayers when we only ask for things that seem to good to us. In the prayer of our Lord, Christ gives us something better to ask for: he asks that God’s kingdom will come and that his will be done.
This request requires trust in God. This is a request for God to do things beyond what I can ask or imagine. This request redefines my expectation of what is good. It boldly proclaims that God has better plans for my life than I do. When you and I pray this prayer we don’t fully know what this might mean for our lives.
I limit my prayers when I only ask for what I can conceive. Praying for God’s will to be done requires faith and trust well beyond the limits of what I think is good. Do you, do I have the courage to ask for God’s will to be done?
Four years ago, my wife asked God how she could make better use of her time. God answered by sending brain cancer to her. Her response was not one of fear but of gratitude. Ruth rejoiced that God had gotten her full attention. She knew God’s comfort and strength in ways that I had not thought possible. God turned our lives upside down and made us to see time from a completely different perspective. Ruth is with the Lord now. But because of her prayer many, many people now see time differently.
Your kingdom come, your will be done. This is a prayer that will change your life. Paul reminds us of the wonder of asking for God’s will to be done in our lives:
However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived —
the things God has prepared for those who love him…”
I Corinthians 2:9