“Lord, may your will be done.”

“God, may your plan and purpose work out in this person’s life.”

“Jesus, we want nothing else but your perfect will for our sister’s life. Whatever that may be.”

Photo Credit: Coogan Photo, Creative Commons
Photo Credit: Coogan Photo, Creative Commons

How many of us have heard prayers like these?

How many of us have actually prayed those exact words?

I know I have, and chances are you have as well.

I’ve come to a point in my life where hear someone pray that God’s will be done is almost sickening. It is like hearing nails run down a chalkboard in my soul.

I almost wrote “I hate it”, but hate is a very strong word. Loath might be better.

I loath hearing people ask for “nothing but Your perfect will, O Sovereign God.”

And I’ll tell you why. Don’t judge me yet, you might agree when I’m done.

I don’t care to hear people pray for God’s will to be done because it seems to come off as lazy prayer.

Not all the time, I’m not making a giant cross-denomiational statement. But for me, in my Christian experience, God’s will prayers seem to be a lazy prayer.

Many times I have seen people use it as a cop out for not knowing what to say.

There was one time a young family was in a car accident. The mother and father were in the front, seat belts on, and survived the crash with minor injuries. The two girls, both without seat belts on, were thrown out the windshield into a field. The youngest girl was totally fine. Her older sister, not so much.

She was rushed to the hospital with life threatening injuries. On the way to the hospital, i’m assuming, the mother got a hold of someone in the church and they immediately started praying.

Not a bad thing, prayer in the church is a necessity and I would be an ignorant fool to say otherwise.

The church called an “emergency prayer meeting” to which I gladly went. But my gladness quickly soured when I heard what people were praying.

“God, your will be done in this situation.”

“Lord, you have a perfect plan in all this mess. Make it happen.”

“Jesus, we pray you take her home, or make her well. Whatever you decide.”

My first thought was, Really?

Photo Credit: fanboyk, Creative Commons
Photo Credit: fanboyk, Creative Commons

A girl’s life hangs in the balance and you aren’t fervently praying that God heals her. You are all (not all were praying these prayers mind you) standing idly by, and don’t have the compassion or passion to pray one way or the other?

It filled me with a sense of disgust at this type of prayer. It was almost as if they didn’t really care what happened.

When I heard that my grandmother was sick, I wasn’t wishy washy about my prayers. I prayed for her healing. That was what I wanted. That was what I asked God to do.

It was up to Him whether He did or not, but I felt passionately about having her stick around so I prayed that way.

But for this girl that was suffering after a car crash…”God, whatever you decide, I guess we are okay with that” was not an acceptable prayer to me.

It was not just this one experience. I have had others like this that have made me feel this way. It may not have been about a car crash victim. There was one about a man with cancer, a teenager not sure what to do with his life, a girl unsure of how to deal with being single, and a lot more.

All these circumstances needed some passionate prayer, some directed prayer one way or the other and didn’t get it.

That isn’t right. That can’t be what Jesus meant when He said that we should pray “Thy will be done (Matt. 6:10 KJV).”

So, I’ve stopped praying that way. Not that I’ve stopped praying all together, just in that passive, not passionate way.

If you find yourself in a position where praying God’s will be done is a lazy, not caring way of dealing with things, take my advice.

Stop praying like that.

Decide what you want God to do and passionately pray that way.

This is not the end of this conversation, there is another post coming. Stay tuned.

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7 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Praying God’s Will Be Done

  1. I agree. Usually, this prayer is a cop out. Yes, we are to pray God’s will – which means that we first have to find out what it is. We have to hear the Spirit’s voice, know our bible, and from that pray.

    It is all too easy to just leave it up to God. We never fail in our prayers then. We never have to explain – and if only to ourselves – why our prayers were not answered. And we never grow in faith, in hearing his voice, or in maturity.

    I am perfectly with you. Take a stand – in your example: pray for life. Easy choice. God tells us that he has put before us life and death, and that we are to choose life. And grow in faith if your prayer is answered – or grow in maturity if not, struggling with God and therefore deepening your relationship.

    Just never, never, never retreat to safe ground.

    Blessings.

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  2. I definitely agree with your point about lazy prayer; this phrase can seem like a cop out. But when it comes from a genuine heart, I think it can also be among the most courageous prayers out there. It takes a lot of guts to pray that God have His way and mean it. It takes faith, and surrender, and a conviction that God knows what’s best.
    “Decide what you want God to do and passionately pray that way.”
    Ultimately, we should want God to do what God wants to do. ‘God, Your will be done,’ if prayed with a right heart, can be as passionate a prayer as any other.
    But again, I do agree that it can be used as an easy way out if you don’t have the faith to pray for the outcome you want. It’s not a phrase to be prayed lightly.
    Thanks for this insightful post; it certainly is thought provoking!

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  3. I pray like this, not to cop out but because I want God to make His will. And to be able to accept it. Or if it’s not me, that the people who I’m praying for will be able to accept His will.

    I ask my will to be done, too. Or the person’s will.

    Because that is what we are doing. My will is for the girl to be healed, let my will to be done.

    I ask God to do it if it is His will. And if it is not His will, then to prepare the parents and people around them and make them able to accept His will.

    Sometimes God’s will is quite the opposite of our will but Jesus did teach us to pray that it would happen. And I think that even it has been the hardest, most painful, and most dangerous prayer in my life, I still pray that His will will be done in my life.

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