What does it mean to pray “Your will be done”? Most of us know that in the “Lord’s Prayer” (our name for it, not His), Jesus taught His followers to pray “Your will be done”. Yet today so many Christians are turning this into something it was never intended to be because they take it out of context.
Many Christians today, tragically, are praying prayers that amount to this: “Lord, Your will be done, whatever that is. I don’t know what Your will is, but let it be done, whatever it is. Heal me if it is Your will. If it isn’t, I’ll just accept that. Prosper my business if it’s Your will, otherwise, cause business to stink if that’s Your will instead.”
Such prayers are a total waste of breath. You’d waste far less breath if you’d just pray, “WHATEVER!” which amounts to the same thing while being equally useless.
How will you ever know when such a “prayer:” is answered? If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? This is not the way we are to pray. The one exception to this, exemplified by the Lord, is the prayer of consecration, where you are in effect saying, “Lord., I surrender my will to Yours. I’ll go to China if you want. I’ll give money to support a missionary work in Iraq if you want. Let me know what You want, and I’ll do it, even if it isn’t what I think I want.” In Jesus’ case, He was asking that if there was any other way than going to the cross, that this other way be allowed instead, but nevertheless, not His will (in the natural) but God’s will be done.
The sad part is that people pray a ridiculous religious prayer such as “Heal me if it’s Your will”, then when they don’t get healed, they say, “See, I know it wasn’t His will because I prayed for His will to be done!”
Yet we can see how Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, dealt with such a situation. A leper threw himself down before Jesus and said in effect, “If you want to, You can heal me.” Note His answer: “I am willing. Be cleansed!” And the man was healed. Jesus didn’t play favorites when it came to healing – ALL who touched His garment were made whole; He went about healing every sickness and every disease among the people. If He was willing to heal the leper, He’s willing to heal you. But first, you need to hear His word as the leper did and know that it is God’s will to heal you.
Jesus didn’t say, “Let’s take this to the Father and see if it’s His will or not.” Jesus didn’t have to ask God what His will was because He knew the Scriptures. When God had already declared that He heals all our diseases (Psalm 103:3) and is the Lord our Physician (Exodus 15:26), there was nothing to pray about. You don’t have to pray about a matter to determine God’s will when you can simply read about the matter in the Bible to determine God’s will! When we pray for God’s will to be done, the first thing we need to do is read His Book to find out what His will is! Then we can pray for it to be done and do so in faith!
It’s dangerous to pray about God’s will in matters where the Bible has already declared His will. In the case of healing, many go without it because some religion-head got to them and taught them to pray an unscriptural “If it be Thy will” prayer for their healing. So they die prematurely or suffer unnecessarily because the prayer of unbelief (which “If it be Thy will” always is when prayed for healing) has no guarantee of any answer. In the matter of a mate, so many people have gotten deceived into praying about whether they should marry some unbeliever! Then they “hear” from their hormones and blame it on God and say that God told them to marry the unbeliever. Yet if they just read the Bible, they’d know that 2 Corinthians 6 forbids a Christian from marrying an unbeliever. There’s nothing to pray about! God has already made His will clear – you don’t pray to find out what His will is in the matter, you just read!
Bottom line: It’s good to pray “Your will be done” as long as you find out what His will is before you pray!