The End of Me and the Beginning of Change
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10
Over a cup of coffee, a friend and I recently recounted our stories of recovery. The details of our addiction were different, until it came to that point where we both realized we were going a new direction. For both of us, it was that moment when we’d had enough, and in desperation, we turned to God. At that point, our story was the same. We’d both come to the end of ourselves and submitted to God, Whatever it takes, I’ll follow you. No matter what. That was the beginning of authentic transformation for both of us.
This is probably the hardest prayer, Not my will but yours God. It’s not wrong to take our requests to God. In the garden, on the night before his crucifixion, Jesus agonized over his coming torture and brought his request to God. My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Then though, he uttered those profoundly difficult words, Not as I will, but as you will (Matthew 26:39).
Jesus taught, in today’s passage, that we must daily to pray for God’s will in our lives. He went on to say that we should take our needs to God, but ultimately, prayer must be about continually wrestling our will to the ground, forcing it to submit to God’s will.
For most of us, prayer happens only when we experience some need or discomfort, which causes us to finally turn to God, asking him to fix our circumstances. God, take away this illness. God, I’m in financial trouble. God, I’m a mess. Take away my addiction. Those aren’t wrong prayers. As Christ modeled, we should take our concerns to the Father. What we often need though, is to take the next step. God, have your way with my life. I will do whatever it takes to follow you. Tell me what to do and I’ll do it. No matter what.
We long for God to just snap his fingers and fix our misery. God, it seems, longs for us to abandon our will, surrendering to his in radical obedience. If we desire to see authentic transformation, then we must continually make ourselves submit to God’s will, doing whatever it takes to follow and obey him.