Saturday, 3 March 2007

Thy Will be done

Another tricky one.

When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked for the cup of suffering to be taken from Him, "but not my will, but thine, be done".

When we pray, what do we ask for? And how do we ask?

"Please God, let me get this job."

"Please God, make this sick person better."

"Please God, let the shop still be open when I get there."

In all of our requests, where do we leave space for God's Will to be done?

A lot of the things I have prayed for over the years for myself, I haven't received. Does this mean my prayers weren't answered? Well, there was that job I wanted - I see now that there was another, even better job, just round the corner. There was the scholarship I wanted to study abroad - I ended up going to work in the country, for four times as long, getting paid for being there and learning more than I could have hoped for.

These days, I have more faith that God knows what He's doing! I still ask for things, but then I say, "And if Your plan for me is something different, please help me to understand and accept that." It's a bit long-winded, but the basic idea is there - "Thy Will be done".

It's hard - sometimes very hard. A couple of years ago one of the people I love most in the world was in intensive care, and the doctors didn't know if she would make it through the night. I spent the entire night praying, and "Thy Will be done" was so hard to say. What if God's Will was that she be taken from us? She was so important to so many people, she had a husband and a baby daughter who needed her, why couldn't He take me instead of her?

Well, as it happened, God's Will was that she should survive - and for that, I thank Him every day. But I'm kind of proud that in that darkest hour I remembered to ask Him both for her survival and for strength for myself and the rest of the family to carry on if she didn't make it.

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