When Jesus outlined his model prayer, commonly known in modern times as “The Lord’s Prayer,” some of the parts he prescribed were easier than others.
In all but the worst circumstances, it is not that hard for most people to praise God’s name.
It’s relatively easy for most of us to ask for daily bread, though it is harder not to ask for next year’s bread – and more – for good measure.
For believers who see themselves as spiritually needy, it also comes naturally to beg forgiveness, even though it may stick in one’s craw.
“Lead us not into temptation” may be hard for the young believer to ask sincerely, given the attractions that the world has to offer, but the seasoned saint, who has likely tasted more of temptation’s bitter dregs, may make such a request eagerly.
For saints and sinners alike, sometimes the hardest line to say sincerely is, in the language of the King James Version, “Thy will be done.”
By its very wording, it implies a surrender of our own will, which goes against human nature.
Such surrender means accepting that God is sovereign.
It means endorsing God’s sovereignty over church splits, family splits and stock splits – over doctrine and discipline and eternal destinies – of saying, “Yes, Lord” even when we lose our job, our freedom or our dignity.
When we mouth those words, we agree to anything God chooses to allow into our lives or the lives of our loved ones.
“God is at work bending, breaking, molding, and doing exactly as He chooses. And why is He doing it? He is doing it for only one purpose— that He may be able to say, “This is My man, and this is My woman,” wrote Oswald Chambers in “My Utmost for His Highest.”
In the words of Paul the apostle, to ask “Thy will be done” is to stand on a foundation of belief “that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
To the unconvinced mind, those are troubling words.
To those confident in God’s provision, protection and purpose, they are ultimately reassuring.