Saturday, August 6, 2011

"When you pray...." Homily on the Lord's Prayer, Part 3: Our Place (as preached by an orthodox rebel)

"...Thy will be done...." Luke 11:2b KJV

"We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us." -Martin Luther

When we hallow the name of God, we are acknowledging his place as Creator: His strength, sovereignty, and sufficiency. When we hallow the will of God, we are acknowledging our place as creature: our submission,  surrender, and service. He is Lord, and we are not. It is His purposes that are being fulfilled, not our own paltry ones. We are a purposeful part of His plan; He is not a peripheral part of ours. God has designed a great scheme and order wherein we have a place built for us, a place that we have been built for. Our joy is only found in that place, in His plan, in His will. This is not tyrannical enslavement and slavish duty; this is the joy of all living things, i.e., to finally find where they belong, within the great unfolding will of their Father and Creator.

When you pray, make your request known unto God. Ask what you will, but never forget Who is over all. Remember another of our Lord's prayers (Luke 22:42): He made His heart's desire known to His Father and then concluded, "Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done." This is not about divine indifference, as though God cared nothing for us or take no notice of our lives; this is about us reaching that "nevertheless". We are to come before our good and gracious Father and make known to Him the things that truly press against our hearts, and then we are to acknowledge God's place above them all. That is not resignation; that is hope. It is joy unspeakable to know that God not only knows what you fear and desire but also is above all your fears and desires. He will bring to pass what He will, and what He wills is all for our good (Jer. 29:11; Rom. 8:28) and His glory (Ps. 46:10). There is no dreariness in this, only love and life more abundant.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2011

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