The disciples of Jesus came to him one day with a request:
Lord, teach us to pray. Jesus replied with a remarkably concise, model prayer. We call it
the Lord’s Prayer and everyone knows it by heart, if only from simple repetition.
But I don’t think repetition is exactly what Jesus had in mind. Rather, I think he gave us an outline for prayer and left it to us to fill in the details. But in the process of thinking it through, we can see a lot of interesting things in that prayer. For example, take this sentence:
Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Every time I come to that phrase, I seem to come up with new questions.
Consider the wording: Thy will be done, on earth as it is done in heaven. Who carries out God’s will here on earth? Who is supposed to measure up to the heavenly standard of implementation—us? If so, the problem I hear from people is that, when faced with a difficult situation, they are rather unclear about what God’s will actually is. Can we know?