If we pray regularly, we probably recite the words thy will be done quite a few times daily. It is one of the central petitions of the Our Father.
Do you ever stop to think about this prayer-petition? Do we really think that God’s will is not going to be accomplished in the end? I don’t think so. After all, God is, well, God. At God’s command absolutely anything can be achieved before we could even grasp what was happening.
Do we think that God Almighty actually needs us, needs me, so that He could be more all-powerful, more all-knowing, more all-loving, more all-just, more all-whatever? On the contrary, God would be quite self-sufficient without any of us. God created ex nihilo—out of nothing. There was a time when nothing else but God existed. So, obviously, God could get along quite well without us.
The fact of the matter is that God created out of love. He brought into existence that which previously did not exist—the entire universe, our world and us. His greatest achievement was the creation of the human person, made in His image and likeness. We were given intelligence and free-will like God. Amazingly, God chose to become one of us as evidenced by the Incarnation of Jesus.
So, when we pray that God’s will be done, we must realize with ultimate humility that in the end we are not in charge. God will always be in charge. Always. His Will is going to be done with or without us. And we, as humans, must conform to His Will, not the other way around. God is creator and we are creatures. Period. End of story.
What is so mind-boggling is that God has invited each of us into a personal relationship with Himself. We can either accept the invitation or reject it. We can believe or not. We can cooperate with His plan or foolishly think that we can do whatever we want without consequences. The choice will always be ours because God willed it so.
With this in mind, my personal prayer consists of a variation of this petition. When I come before the Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament I simply pray: I want what You want. I sit and give my time over to the Lord. I submit my will to His. I realize my place before Almighty God.
Perhaps each of us could ask ourselves a few questions to evaluate where we are before God: Does God really have control of me and my life? Do I love Him with all my heart, mind, soul and strength? Do I desire to do His Will? Do I foolishly think that I am in charge?
In the 1960’s Paul Anka wrote the lyrics to a song popularized by Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and various others entitled My Way. I beg to differ with them with a rebuttal composition of my own:
The Final Exam
“And now the end is near,
And so I face the final curtain”—
But after all life’s tests I’ve had,
Of little or nothing I’m certain!
Yet still, dear Lord, I ask your help
To guide me day to day—
And may the priv'lege be always mine
To say I did it Your Way.
© 1981 Edward F. Namiotka
Fr. Ed Namiotka