“Thy will be done,”. We pray it so often we might hardly notice ourselves saying these words.

Some days though, like last Sunday, when the news of yet another mass shooting, this time in a Church in Texas, hit our screens when we got home from our church services. We have just prayed from God’s will to be done and we are immediately confronted by something, which, we just cannot reconcile with God’s will.

The questions and accusations begin in our media immediately. There must be an easy answer. Again, and again we separate ourselves from each other with arguments and opinions. But what do we pray for, how do we pray in times like these. What does it mean to be a Christian in days like these?

One of the most important things we have to remember is when we say, “Thy will be done,” is that we are engaged in an interactive activity. Prayer is not a sort of garbage disposal system

where we throw all the things which hurt or frighten us and hope they will go away – it is a conversation. It is our primary conversation with God and God talks back.

“Th

y will be done” is not, primarily, a prayer for the miraculous, it is a prayer that we will have strength and clarity of mind to engage with the world, including those places where it is utterly broken and, even, repugnant. It is a prayer that we can and will stand where Jesus would stand in times of tragedy and in times of the conversations following them. It is a prayer that we would quieten our souls enough to be the small quiet voice which God so often uses in situations where people are lost and alone.

Praying for God’s will to be done we are not praying for a magic protection from all evil but to learn how we, ourselves, shall be light in the face of that evil. We are Christ’s body, one body who share one bread and one cup. We need to pray, and we need to work with each other.