Growing up in Toronto, I enjoyed going to Centre Island and playing in the maze. Although I visited many times, there were always unsuspected surprises in this labyrinth. While in the maze, I could see a short distance in front of me, but I honestly did not know what was around the corner or two rows over. Imagine yourself walking through a giant, life-size maze in search of the exit door. During the walk, you can see only the passageway directly in front of or behind you, and you have no real clue how your current position relates to the overall goal of getting out of the maze. We think we know what is around the corner, and on a hunch, we may make a run for what we believe is the way out, but ultimately our understanding of the situation is only a guess, given our limited perspective.
Contrast that with God, who has a bird’s-eye view of the entire maze, seeing the beginning and the endpoints. Because of this fact, if we were to let God lead us through the puzzle, he would take us around twists and turns that we might think are needless or even in the wrong direction. But they would be the needed steps to reach the goal God set before us. God looks at things in the light of eternity, whereas our outlook focuses on the here and now.
When Jesus taught us to pray, He told us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” When we pray according to God’s will, we surrender our concerns and seek what God wants. We are affirming that God’s in control. When we pray “thy will be done,” we’re telling God we’re glad that he’s in control, not us. Praying under God’s will means surrendering ourselves to God. It does not mean we are indifferent to our prayers but implies we care about our prayers and trust God enough to release them to Him. When we pray, “thy will be done,” we are repeating what the psalmist shared in Psalm 40:8, “I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”
God uses prayer to change us. So, when we pray “thy will be done,” we’re exchanging our will for his, turning our needs and wants to God for him to deal with. Continue to ask God for anything, but do so with an attitude of meaning, thy will be done”.