The Lord’s prayer is probably one of the most well-known and most frequently recited prayers world over, which makes it the prayer most likely to fall into the trap of vain and empty repetition. I will be the first to admit that after a long and tiring day when all I want to do is just crawl into bed I cave in to the ache and fatigue and simply rattle it off in order to have done my “prayer duty” for the day. But my laziness and the sham concept of “prayer duty” (prayer is a privilege, not a duty) will have to wait for another day because I am quite taken by something else within the Lord’s prayer at the moment.

“Thy will be done” is probably the most comforting yet terrifying phrase in the Lord’s prayer, perhaps the entire Bible. There is comfort beyond measure when you pause to think of what you are truly saying to the Lord when you pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” I imagine in heaven God doesn’t even have to command or ask for something to be done, He just thinks it or says the word and it happens (but then again this is an image limited by my human mind that needs to conceptualize things within the boundaries of thoughts and words.) And so when we pray for His will to be done on earth just as it is done in heaven we really are asking for what we would see as one miraculous happening after the other, things happening with ease, doors opening without any resistance, pure harmony of being and existence.

“Thy will be done” terrifies precisely because it is Thy will and not my will. God gave us free will to do as we please and that free will led to the fall of man. But we still like to be in control. We want things to go our way because we know best. But the truth stands to the contrary. We don’t know best. If we did then Eve would not listened to the serpent in the Garden of Eden. She had a choice and with her free will she made the wrong one. Yet, we are not lost. Where man’s will goes wrong, God’s will is there to make things right. It was His will that we be saved, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

And it is from the Son that we learn to submit our will to His. As Christ prayed on the mountain just before he was arrested and tried and then crucified, He prayed that the cup before Him may be taken away but also prayed and said “Thy will be done.” He knew of the oncoming suffering yet still submitted His will to His Father’s will. God does not ask of us anything remotely close to the most ultimate sacrifice given on the cross, so why be scared to submit? All that will be done will be good just as He is good. If His will entailed sacrificing His own Son for us, there is no limit to the goodness He will bestow on us. All we have to do is mean four simple little words from the very bottom of our hearts.