Psalm 40:8 – I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. (NRSV)
Mark 14:36 – [Jesus] said, "Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want." (NRSV)
In the two previous devotionals, I have talked about my four-year-old daughter's version of the Lord's Prayer in church one Sunday morning: "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be my name. My kingdom come, my will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…". As I said before, my first instinct was to correct her, but then I realized that there was something meaningful in what she was saying.
Of course, we should not pray that our will be done. That would be selfish, and would mean replacing what God wants with what we want. Right? But think of it this way: We are told to pray that God's will might be done. And we are also told in many places in the Bible that what God wants is to take precedence over what we want. The most notable example of this is Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.
God's will should take precedence over ours. And what better way to allow this to happen than to let our wills completely disappear, so that, like the Psalmist, we can say that we delight to do God's will, and that God's law is within our hearts? Then God's will can replace our will. And then we can pray, "My will be done", not meaning that our human wills should be fulfilled, but that God's will might both be done and become our will as well.
Prayer: Gracious God, you know the wants and wishes of our hearts all too well. Grant that these might fade away, and that your will might reign in our hearts and minds, so that what you want, we want also. Amen.