Reflections by Maxie Dunnam
In the Christian tradition most of us know, and can enter into praying what has come to be known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” It is really our prayer. There are two common ways we pray this prayer. Sometimes, we wrestle against God. We receive intimations of something God wants us to do- – and we wrestle against God because we are not sure we want to respond. Or, we come face to face with an issue of God’s justice and holiness – and we resist. We don’t want to do it.
But there is also another kind of wrestling. It is not wrestling against God; it’s a matter of wrestling with God against that which opposes God’s will. It really becomes a matter of spiritual warfare. We sense that there are forces within our world which are opposed to God’s will: sickness, hate, meanness, narrowness of spirit, fear, lethargy, prejudice, and ill will. I speak of our warfare against the forces of darkness – we wrestle against Satan himself. We set ourselves against all such forces and to them we cry, “God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
The whole issue is abandonment. Sometimes when we pray, “Thy will be done,” it is a declaration of submission in which we confess that we do not know what is best but we want God’s will. We struggle, we wrestle, we stay in the presence of the Lord until our hearts are made tender, and we’re ready to trust God and surrender our will to Him.
My favorite story about Lourdes, the world known healing place, has to do with an old priest at that famous healing center who was asked by a newspaper reporter to describe the most impressive miracle he’d ever seen there. The reporter expected him to talk about the amazing recovery of someone who had come to Lourdes ill and walked away well. “Not at all,” the old priest said, “if you want to know the greatest miracle that I have ever seen at Lourdes, it is the look of radiant resignation on the face of those who turn away unhealed!” That’s abandonment! — thy will be done as a declaration of submission, confessing that all we want is God’s will – because we know that it is best for us.
So, let us pray, Our Father……