LENTEN STUDY 4
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Help us to accept Your purposes,
Your good and perfect plan for our lives,
As one day all creation will submit
And bow before You
In Whom is perfect peace and freedom.
Bible passages for study: Psalm 143:1-12; I Thessalonians 4:1-12
1 Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.
2 Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.
3 The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead.
4 So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.
5 I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.
6 I spread out my hands to you;
I thirst for you like a parched land.
7 Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go
down to the pit.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God;
may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
11 For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.
I Thessalonians 4:1-12
1 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.
2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;
4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honourable,
5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;
6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before.
7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more,
11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,
12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
1. The previous petition appealed for God’s rule, with God’s laws and standards, to be established and operative in our world. This petition asks for God’s purposes and plans to be fulfilled in his creation, particularly among the People of God.
2. God wills as well as rules. He implements his plans and purposes for creation, for his Church and for us as individuals and families. When praying we attempt to align our requests with God’s own purposes and plans for us. God’s creation is ordered by God’s rule and is designed to fulfill his purposes and plans.
3. After teaching the Lord’s Prayer to his disciples, Jesus directed them to ‘seek’ the Kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33). As we pray we
seek God’s will for the world, for our society, families and ourselves. We ask God to teach us his will through the gifts and working of his Holy Spirit in us.
4. The Bible also teaches us that God has made his will for us known. His will is that his people are sanctified, set apart and made holy (1 Thessalonians 4:2), to live a life of thanksgiving to God (1 Thessalonians 5:18), to do good (1 Peter 2:15). We turn to God’s word to find his will for our world and our lives.
5. To know God’s will, the Bible teaches that we must turn to him in submission. We must turn to him and decide to do his will. We must turn to him in trust and not expect to understand everything (Proverbs 3:5-6).
6. The Bible teaches that God gives us his Holy Spirit to lead us into his truth that includes his will for us. As children of God, we are led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14). God equips us with everything we need to do his will (Hebrews 13:20-21).
Questions for reflection:
1. What does the Bible teach us about God’s plans and purposes for his creation, and for his Church?
2. How can we differentiate between our desires, our will and God’s will for us?