Probably one of the most common prayers that escape our lips has to do with asking for God’s will. That’s how Jesus taught us to pray, and it weaves humility and trust and need all together. It’s a purposeful prayer to ask for His wants to come first, His way to be walked. In my teenage years, it was the holy grail…Oh, Lord, what is Your will? Just tell me this one thing and I will never ask You for anything ever again! I thought His will was an answer to a question or two, questions such as: “Who do you want me to marry? What job do you want me to have?” And for me, because I wanted to be a missionary, it was “Where do you want me to live and when am I going to get there?” I reduced God to a fortune teller, and He told me just that! Thus began my journey of finding what He really meant when He said to pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
I think we can see a portion of what this prayer means in the story of Abraham praying for Sodom and Gomorrah.
In Genesis 18, God decides (specifically in verse 17) to disclose to Abraham what He is going to do to Sodom and Gomorrah. Because of the great sin in these cities, He is going to destroy them completely. So He decides to share this with His friend, Abraham. And if that isn’t enough to show their companionship, Abraham takes this opportunity to discuss the Lord’s plans with Him. He says humbly, “Lord, will you save the cities if there are just fifty righteous people?” The Lord says, “Yes, I will.” Then Abraham says, “Will you save them if there are just forty-five?” The answer is yes. What about thirty, twenty, ten? The Lord says, “Abraham, I will save these cities if there are just ten righteous people!”
There weren’t. There were not ten righteous people. The cities were destroyed. But this conversation reveals to me some pieces of God’s will, His purposes, the decisions and actions of His heart.
First, we see that God enjoys and expects and rewards conversation! It’s both possible and normal to talk with God, and to say anything! He Who Sees our hearts can handle them being poured out to Him. This walking and talking? It’s His will for you and me. Secondly, we see that when Abraham asked for the salvation and rescue of souls, he didn’t have to beg. Abraham had immediately hit on the top priority of God’s heart. He was instantly on the same page with God, instantly on the same wavelength, and we can know that SO ARE WE when we cry out to God for lives.
We can never stop crying out to God for lives! I am frustrated at where “morality” has headed, but in that frustration, I can’t stop praying for lives. I am broken hearted and ashamed that I live in a country where abortion is legal, but in that reality of how this makes me feel, I can’t stop praying for lives. Lives of those who are righteous and innocent…and lives of those that are deep in lies, sin, and death. Both victims and oppressors.
When we take the time to pray for lives, I believe with all my heart, we are instantly on the same page with our Creator, Savior, and Coming King.