Thy will be done

I have been listening to K-Love again lately, just trying to get my mind and heart in the right place. There is a new song on the radio entitled, “Thy Will” by Hilary Scott (formally of Lady Antebellum) and it really has struck me recently. That is a simple phrase that most of us probably pray on daily basis, and at bare minimum, every Sunday at church. For those of us who grew up Catholic, the Our Father is probably something we have known since we were little and now just pray without thinking about it. 

This prayer is one of the core prayers of our faith but like the Hail Mary and the Glory Be, and even more so the Sign of the Cross, I think we sometimes say and do not really pray it. We rush through the words because it’s a part of the Mass or to get our “prayer time” in for the day. This prayer deserves so much more time and thought. When the disciples did not know the words to pray, Jesus said to use these words. These are the words Christ gave us to use to pray. These are the words, He Himself prayed. These are the words that we need to remember are not just to be recited.

When we start the “Our Father,” we start by reminding ourselves that we are one family in Christ. Not my father but our Father. We were created in a community of love for one another. 

Then we pray, “Hallowed be Thy name.” His name is holy. How many times do we just throw the Lord’s name around not even remembering how Sacred it truly is? We use His name like it is any other name. When God first spoke His name to Moses in the burning bush, the Jewish people would not speak or even write it out because they did not feel worthy enough and that every time they used His name outside of prayer that it was in vain. Now that is awe and respect for the name of God!

“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.” Such a beautiful line but I think it is the hardest line in the whole prayer. The first part we are not only praying for Christ to come again but we are also praying for God’s Kingdom to be with us now, right here in our everyday life. We are praying for His purpose and design for our life to be taking place right now. Then, we ask for His will to be done. This is the line of the prayer that I am struggling the most with right now. I want His will for me but I want it in my time and I want unlimited understanding of it. I want to know why things happen the way they do, now and not someday. I want my will and His will to be the same only if that means He will conform to my will. In the song, “Thy Will” she sings that she needs to remember that He is God and that she is not. That’s what the “Lord’s Prayer” reminds us of, that we are not God and we need to let Him work in us.

“Give us this day, our daily bread.” We are asking God to nourish us physically and Spiritually. We are asking Him to sustain us in our human bodies but also to fill our hearts, minds and souls through His Word and through the Eucharist. This desire to be filled by God requires our work too, though. We need to pray more, to go to church frequently and to read Scripture.

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those whose trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” We are praying for God’s mercy not only in the times that we have failed to love Him properly, but also that His mercy penetrates our hearts so that we can forgive those who do not love us the way that they are called to. Then once we are forgiven, we do not want to offend God again and so we beg Him for the ability to be preserved from those things that tempt us and ultimately save us from all that will damage our relationship with Him.

These are the words that our Lord gave us when we do not know how to pray to the Father. This was a reminder to us of what is most important to us as Christians. We are called to love and respect God, ourselves and our family in God, and to pray for His will and His mercy so that we can love as He has loved us. 

All that in a prayer we have been praying since we were five years old! Man, the Lord knows what He is doing!

Anchor columnist Amanda Tarantelli has been a campus minister at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth since 2005. She is married, a die-hard sports fan, and resides in Cranston, R.I.

© 2019 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing    †    Fall River, Massachusetts