I’ve heard different discussions on whether or not it’s okay to pray, ‘if it be your will, Lord.’ Those discussions stem from the belief of praying with confidence, boldness and faith according to God’s divine will (the Bible). This concept is based on what John says in 1 John 5: 14‐15: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” Some have thought that we shouldn’t say, “If it be your will” when we pray. While we should constantly be reading God’s Word to know and understand God’s will better, it’s not possible that we completely know and understand the will of God thoroughly. Any which way we slice it, prayer is still a human exercise. In many instances, God’s will is clearly revealed to us. The more we know scripture, the more we can be sure of God’s will when we pray. At the same time, we won’t always completely know God’s will, his infinite thoughts, ways, plans and purposes. Because God’s ways are higher than our ways, his ultimate will can’t always be understood by our finite, limited minds. So, when we’re unsure of God’s will, there is nothing wrong with praying, “If it be your will, Lord.” There are certain things, however, that we know for sure because we read about it in His Word! Regardless as to how we do it, prayer isn’t about phrasing everything perfectly or using the correct formula in the exact right way. Prayer is about deepening our relationship with the One who loves us with a love that defies human comprehension. Prayer is about communicating with God from our hearts in an honest, loving relationship. Because our hearts can (from time to time) lead us in the wrong way, it’s best to pray to God through His Word which is always true, always unbiased and always dependable. Prayer is one of the most blessed gifts we could ever hope to receive from our Heavenly Father. Celebrate that gift by doing it often, in thankfulness and in reverence. If Jesus prayed, “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done”, why can’t we?
Have a blessed day and remember the One who gave it to you!
Kevin Lough is the minister at the Whitehall Church of Christ in Fairmont WV.