“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
I admit that I’ve always battled a bit with this part of Jesus’ prayer framework. I guess I never really understood what it meant. I’ve had many teach about the A.C.T.S. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) structure of what the Lord’s Prayer was about, making a bit more sense of it rather than the simple recitation of it as is often done in the larger denominations.
But “asking” God to have his will done seems a bit beyond the scope of why I’m coming to him in prayer. But after all this time, I’ve come to realize that this is precisely the scope of what I should be praying about.
Now, while I get the “adoration” part of the prayerthe part where I tell God how awesome he isI’ve been missing this component. You see, typically, I will naturally let my heart speak to God in the adoring and thankful tones, and just letting my joy in him overflow into worship. And by the time I’m done doing this, I really don’t feel like I have any business asking him for anything. I mean, really, what do I need?
But the truth is that God wants me to ask, and he’s ready to bless. But instead of coming to God in prayer and looking to tell him what I want, Jesus suggests that perhaps I should first come to God in prayer and ask him what he wants.
How can I know what’s good for me if I’m not tuned into his goodness? How can I know what the right things to pray for are if I haven’t first consulted his wisdom? And so Jesus is saying that I must “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,and all these things will be given to [me] as well”
Jesus modeled this very attitude, humble and focused, all the way to the cross. As he himself fought to stay committed to the plan to give up his life, he went to his father in prayer in the Garden, “Not my will, but yours be done.” This helped him to be re-tuned to God’s plan of salvation for all man kind, and strengthened his resolve to complete the task that lay before him.
So now the general format of my prayers will be A-A-C-T-S. With the second A representing “Ask God what He wants.”