Prayer does not change God. Prayer allows God to change us. But to be changed, we must submit to God’s will. So how do we know God’s will? The answer is found in Jesus Christ. Jesus reveals the dreams and desires of God for His creation. This is what makes Christmas a joyful occasion, because not only is God revealed to us, but we also know what to do. If anyone says that he or she is doing God’s will and it looks different than the life of Jesus Christ, do not believe him or her. God’s will is to love others like Jesus loves us. It is God’s will to serve widows and orphans. It is God’s will to forgive and to love your enemies. The Father’s will for all his children is to be like His Son Jesus Christ.
It is always a good idea to pick God’s plan for our lives over our own agendas. We hear about the consequences of people ignoring God’s will whenever we listen to the news. Mass shootings, terrorism, sex trafficking, poverty, and war are not God’s intentions. As a pastor, I hear stories of people in New York City struggling with anxiety, depression, abuse, loneliness, etc. These are not God’s desires for us. But despite all this, I see God’s grace bless this broken world. I have witnessed God’s love heal, deliver, redeem, and bring hope where there was none. But in order to experience God’s grace, we must surrender to Him and pray for His will to be done. We must all let go, and let God have His way be done for our life. When we allow God to be God, the Kingdom will come.
Jesus Christ’s entire life was one of perfect obedience to his Father. His obedience led him to live a sinless life. His obedience, even when it cost him his life, is what brought about our salvation (Luke 22:42). Jesus died to be our atoning sacrifice—to wash away all sin. He rose from the grave, ushering in a new humanity. He ascended into heaven and sits on the throne where Heaven and Earth are under his reign.
There is nothing passive about the Lord’s Prayer. In fact, the prayer is asking for heaven’s invasion of earth. When we pray, we allow God to use us to be a part of the advancement of the Kingdom. We advance the Kingdom by putting into practice what King Jesus commands us to do. But what is God’s will for me specifically? The answer is living life with the Holy Spirit. When we surrender to the Father’s will and let Jesus be the King of our lives, the Holy Spirit will be with us to carry out our specific purpose. The Spirit of God will guide, comfort, teach, and lead us down the path that God has prepared for each of us. But we must want it. God will answer those who seek His Kingdom above everything else. When we prioritize God’s will and His Kingdom, we will find our purpose (Matthew 6:33).
The Lord’s Prayer is about welcoming the Holy Spirit to be with us to advance the Kingdom of Heaven (Luke 11:13). I implore all of you to submit to the Father’s will and participate actively in God’s plans for the world. If you feel lost and are listening to the lie that your life is meaningless, receive the Good News of King Jesus. Pray to the one who gives this world its purpose. Pray to the one who has a plan for your life. Say this prayer:
King Jesus, I need you. Forgive me for being my own boss, I need you to be my God. I surrender to your plans. Let your dreams be my own dreams. Let your Kingdom come and not my own. Let your will be done and not my own. Bring heaven to this broken earth. -Amen