8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
In one of my favorite “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strips, writer Bill Waterson gloriously depicts stars, planets, and entire galaxies in beautiful full page art. At the center of the awe-inspiring universe dwells the deity who has the power to not only create, but also destroy these massive celestial bodies: the mighty Calvin. No one can challenge Calvin’s reign. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and bows to no one. But just as suddenly as Calvin creates and destroys worlds, the comic snaps back to reality, showing Calvin’s parents marveling at their six-year-old son’s imagination, as he plays with his Tinker toys.
How often do we act just like Calvin? I know I do every day. Almost constantly I find myself thinking, “I think that this would be best for me” or “Man, if only that went differently, I wouldn’t be dealing with this right now, “or, “If everyone just listened to me, things would be so much better.” All of these thoughts stem from my pride: believing that I am smarter, or wiser, or simply better than everyone else. I want things to go exactly how I plan them, because I think I know what is best. Yet every single time, something goes wrong, control suddenly slips from my grasp, and I feel like a small child with delusions of grandeur.
Jesus knew that we as humans struggle with pride. That’s why, when Jesus instructed His disciples on how to pray, He began by asking God for His kingdom to come and for His will to be done. Jesus is instructing all of us to set aside our own sinful, prideful desires, and pray for God to accomplish His will in our world. Of course, God will accomplish His will, whether we pray for Him to do so, or not. But we also need to ask God to remove our prideful desires, and enable us to surrender to His plan for our lives. This is not something that comes easy; it requires constant prayer and a willing heart. But there is also great blessing when we submit our will to the Lord. Paul reminds us of this, saying,, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28 ESV).”
So let us continually pray that God will remove our desire to accomplish our own will, and that He will enable us to submit to His will in our lives. For we know that as we submit to Him, we will begin to experience His intended blessings in our lives.
--Jay Suggs serves on Cornerstone Leadership as part of the Worship Team