Now listen young man...
"Thy will be done" -but in fact we are thinking: "Our will be done," and thus this third petition of the Lord's Prayer is first of all a kind of judgment on us, a judgment of our faith.
-Alexander Schmemann, Our Father
It's difficult for me when I read through the church bulletins and often read through their prayer requests. Do it, I dare you. I'm willing to bet that approximately 90%, if not more, are dedicated to some type of sickness, or some type of job search. This drives me crazy.
Do we really have nothing bigger to ask the creator of all things? Is this as big as our prayers will get? I often want to stand up and shout.
Now, don't get me wrong. Sickness and frailty and pain are very hard. People are hurting and in distress; life is hard. Cancer in a family member is terribly difficult. But the question remains: Is this really what the church is about? Our biggest, most important concerns, are our own health and occupation?
Again, I must state that these are important things, but 90% of our prayers?
The quote above made me think about this. Are we really praying, 'Lord, thy will be done' or are we praying 'God, oh magic genie in the sky, make me feel better'? I tend to think the reason all our prayers are for sickness or joblessness is because it is in those things that we have placed our trust and significance and happiness.
I have a really hard time praying for sickness in church because it is rare that I believe the person asking for prayer truly has good intentions. Are you asking me to pray for you for you, or for the glory of God in all things? Do you want to be healthy in order to glorify God and strive to fulfill the Great Commission and His work in your life, or because you don't like hurting?
The difference is subtle, but do you see it?
One, I believe is because prayer for you is a religious act. It's something you're supposed to do. It's in fad. To pray for God's glory to be revealed through your pain and sickness and weakness, now that is a faithful prayer.
Yes, we should ask God for every desire of our heart, and yes, we want to be healthy and have jobs. But let's truly pray 'Thy will be done' and not 'my will be done.'