Is it My Will or God’s Will?
Prayer, the personal conversation we have with God, is one of the principal actions in a faith journey. Through it we begin to open our hearts to Him and learn how to listen. Praying takes many forms: private or group, saying the rosary or a chaplet, following the way of the cross or reciting a litany; even Mass is a prayer.
As I have traveled my faith journey path, I’ve started to become more sensitive as to why I am praying and for what I am praying. Generally, prayer has four aspects: adoration, contrition, petition and thanksgiving.
Some prayers of petition are straightforward. For example, my nephew’s wife is expecting their first child in July, so I’m praying for a safe delivery for the baby. But when praying for someone who has an illness, is the intention that they get well (my will), or that God give them strength as they battle the malady (God’s will)? This apparent conflict often occurs when I am praying for something specific for myself. Even when I think that I am praying for something God wants to give me, when it doesn’t occur in my timetable I start to question if I am seeking His will. Or am I asking for my will to be part of His plan?
Jesus used the parable of the widow and the corrupt judge to encourage perseverance in prayer (Luke 18:1-8). As we grow in faith and seek to do God’s will, it can be difficult to have a clear intention during prayer. “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him,” Jesus tell us. (Matt 6:8). So does that mean I don’t need to pray? No. It means that He will grant me those blessings that will help me do His will at the time I need them. It means that saying, “Lord, I’m not sure what to pray for, but I want to do you will,” is a valid petition. It means sometimes we just need to pray.