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NO BACK TALK


 
 

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.


Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.


And do not bring us to the time of trial,

but rescue us from the evil one.


For the kingdom

and the power

and the glory are yours forever.

Amen.

 

BIBLE READINGS


Matthew 7:21


“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.


Matthew 16:24-26


24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?


Luke 22:42


“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.”


Romans 12:1-2


12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.


Titus 2:11-12


11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all,[a] 12 training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly,


1 Corinthians 7:17-20


.... let each of you lead the life that the Lord has assigned, to which God called you. . . . obeying the commandments of God is everything.


Psalm 103:20-21


20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,

you mighty ones who do his bidding,

obedient to his spoken word.

21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,

his ministers that do his will.

 

NO BACK TALK

 

We pray for God’s will to be done, here and now: in our midst, in our world, in our beloved Canada. Prayers to God in heaven are tied to the experience of everyday realities. For God’s will to take shape in our culture, we have responsibilities as God’s people to enact the will of God as we know it in all areas of our lives together. God’s reign and our responsibility go together. God’s reign can take shape, in ways large and small, through those God uses to carry out God’s will: us and others. So we work for human good, protest injustice and evil and seek societal structures and laws which promote “the general welfare” and provide meaningful help for all. Our prayer is: “Thy will be done”, through us, as the community of Jesus and as his disciples.


When we pray and ask that God’s will or purpose be done on earth, this assumes, of course, that earth is in fact resisting God’s kingdom rule. Given that reality, we pray that God will reclaim this world under his kingdom rule. We ask that God’s rule be more and more evident in our world.


As I write this, we have been reminded of this “fallen reality” in our own country in some recent events. The history of Residential Schools and the horrific impact on our aboriginal sisters and brothers. I grieve, we grieve, at the thoughts of children being torn from their families and culture, and the mistreatment of these children in these schools. Just this past Sunday, down the 401 in London we heard of a family out for a walk on beautiful day, that were deliberated run down because of their ethnicity and religious faith. Yes, we need to keep praying that God will reclaim this world under his kingdom rule. We ask that God’s rule be more and more evident in our world.


When we pray for God’s will be done on earth we are asking that we ourselves be more and more transformed so that our lives reflect God’s purpose and our decisions reflect God’s will. That involves an ongoing struggle for us, though. There are times when my will is at odds with God’s will, and my purpose in life does not reflect God’s purposes for his people. Do you find that in your life, too? So, we are not just asking that we acknowledge God’s will and purposes, but we are asking, surrendering even, that the Holy Spirit will bend our will toward God’s will. Our Catechism puts it bluntly and meaningfully: “to obey your will without any back talk” (Q&A 124).


Remember, Jesus, also prayed this prayer and struggled with its implications. In a night of fear and dread, he faced the reality of the cross, and his will did not align with the will of the Father. “Take this cup from me,” he prayed; “yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).


 

Psalm 103:20-21


20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,

you mighty ones who do his bidding,

obedient to his spoken word.

21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,

his ministers that do his will.

 

Today in our Prayer let us incorporate these aspects of seeking God's Will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 

God, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven


Help us and all people

to reject our own wills and to obey your will without any back talk. Your will alone is good.

Help us one and all to carry out the work we are called to,

as willingly and faithfully as the angels in heaven.


Not my will, but your will be done! (As Jesus prayed in Lk 22:42) Amen.

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