Each time I read or say the Lord’s Prayer it takes me back to a time and place when I recited the Prayer as a way to connect with other Christians or as a way to say a prayer when I could not find the words to pray.
When was a time or place when you prayed that prayer? I remember being in a hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, when Connie and I were expecting our first baby. It was an exciting time. However, when the baby came early and was struggling for life, I was angry at God. “Here I am, God, going into the ministry and You, in return, are taking away my child.” I called out to God in the little chapel of the hospital. Where was God?
I found God… but really, God found me. He found me in a prayer that I saw on the wall of the chapel. It was the words God was speaking through the Lord’s Prayer. At that moment they were just words, but in a revealing moment, I saw these words: “Thy will be done.” Whenever I pray the Lord’s Prayer and come to the words “Thy will be done,”
I am transformed back to that chapel and to that phrase. It was so strange the peace that suddenly came over me. It was in that moment, a moment of surrender, that I took those words as my own. “Thy will be done” echoed in my head and brought peace to my heart. I knew the struggle of anger, the battle to surrender my will to God, and the peace that came beyond my understanding.
It is so challenging when I find myself in situations where I need to let go and let God take it. But, it is in those moments, that I understand God’s faithfulness and promise of presence. I continue to confront “My and MINE” with “Thy will be done.” Like Jesus, those words become the center of my faith and ministry. Like Jesus, they shape my life and reflect the Jesus Way.
This month, I am challenging myself and you to pray the Lord’s Prayer three times a day. To set your phone alarm with the message: “Our Father…Thy Will be Done.” Others may not understand that message, but God and I do. It breaks into my world at 8 AM, 2 PM and 10PM. Sometimes it breaks into my “challenges,” but sometimes it breaks into my “blessings.”
I invite you to join me in preparing not just for a season of Thanksgiving, but a season of Thanks-Living! I discovered a real purpose and blessing in praying “Thy will be done.” I know a God with whom “all things are possible.” Test it out. That is why I am preaching on the Lord’s Prayer this month so that it will come alive in me and focus me as it did the Disciples and even Jesus. Try it: “Thy will be done.” Pray that over every challenging situation in your life and watch how Jesus runs to rescue and bless. For that, I give thanks. Go Be the Church!