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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thy Will Be Done

What does this mean?
The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.

How is God’s will done?
God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God’s name or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His Word and faith until we die. This is His good and gracious will.

Pray like this:
Compared with your will, ours is never good but always evil. your will is at all times the best, to be cherished and desired above everything else. Therefore have mercy upon us, O dear Father, and let nothing happen just because it is our own will. Grant and teach us a deeply based patience in times when our will is prevented from happening or comes to nothing or when someone contradicts our will by what he says or does not say, does or leaves undone. Help us not to become angry or vexed, not to curse, complain, protest, condemn, disparage, or contradict [when what we will is not done]. Help us to speak well of such adversaries, to bless them, and to do good to them as persons who are carrying out your best and godly purposes in contradiction to our own will.

Grant us grace to bear willingly all sorts of sickness, poverty, disgrace, suffering, and adversity and to recognize in this your divine will is crucifying our will. Help us also to endure injustice gladly and preserve us from taking revenge. Let us not repay evil with evil [Matt. 5:39; Rom. 12:19, 21] nor meet violence with violence, but rather let us rejoice that these things happen to us according to your will and so let us praise and give thanks to you [Matt. 5:11]. Let us not ascribe to the devil or evil persons anything that happens contrary to our will, but solely ascribe this to your divine will which orders everything that may hinder our will in order to increase the blessedness of your kingdom. Help us to die willingly and gladly and readily accept death as your will so that we do not become disobedient to you through impatience or discouragement on our part.

Grant that we do not give our bodily members—eyes, tongue, heart, hands, and feet—free rein for what they desire or purpose, but make them captive to your will, bring them to a stop, and subdue them. Protect us from any kind of evil will—froward, stubborn, stiff-necked, or obstinate. Grant us true obedience, a perfect, calm, single-minded composure in all things—spiritual, earthly, temporal, and eternal. Protect us from the horrible vice of character assassination, slander, backbiting, frivolously judging or condemning others, and misrepresenting what others have said. O hold far from us the plague and tragedy which such speech can cause; rather, whenever we see or hear anything in others that seems wrong or displeasing to us, teach us to keep quiet, not to publicize it, and to pour out our complaints to you alone and to commit all to your will. And let us sincerely forgive all who wrong us and be sympathetic toward them.

Teach us to recognize that no one can harm us without first harming himself a thousand times more in your eyes, so that we might thus be moved more to pity rather than to anger toward such a person, to commiserate with him rather than count up his wrongs. Whenever those who did not do our will or did us harm in their conduct or otherwise displeased us are struck with adversity, help us to refrain from rejoicing. Also help us not to be saddened by their good fortune.

To this petition belongs every psalm, verse, or prayer which petitions for help against sin and our foes.

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