Home > Lent > When the Lord says “Your will be done”. Reminiscere sermon 2013. Matthew 15:21-28

When the Lord says “Your will be done”. Reminiscere sermon 2013. Matthew 15:21-28


St. Peter Lutheran Church

St. Matthew 15:21-28

February 24, 2013

“When the Lord says: ‘Your will be done’”

Jesu juva


In the Holy Name of Jesus.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,


Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy will be done” to His heavenly Father.  But before that He taught us to call His Father “Our Father”.  That is an invitation to pray that exceeds our wildest imaginations.  You don’t talk to your master the way you do to your father.  You don’t ask your master for the same things.  You might ask your master for a day off.  You ask your father for Christmas presents, for the keys to the car, to help you with your homework.


Jesus gives us His Father as our Father.  He teaches us to ask our Father in heaven first of all that His name be kept holy, that His kingdom would come, and that His will would be done on earth as in heaven.  Many people hear that third petition “Thy will be done” and figure that means that our will will not be done.


But Jacob and the Canaanite woman prayed and God let their will be done.  “Be it done for you as you desire,” Jesus said to the woman.  What is that but to say, “Your will be done?”


God does not always say, “No,” to our prayers.  Sometimes He says, “Let it be done for you as you wish.”


So you would think that we would pray about everything.  First because Jesus tells us that when we pray we should call God “Father”; secondly because God has been known to say to sinners who pray: “Your will be done.”


But we don’t pray very much, do we?

Not like Jacob and the Canaanite woman, where God says, “Your will be done.”  “Let it be done for you as you desire” after we have prayed and struggled.

Not as diligently for our neighbor as we pray for ourselves, as the Canaanite woman did for her daughter.



It is not true that God never wants to give you what you desire.

God wants to give you what you desire, when your desire is the same as His.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:5


He wants to teach you to ask for what He has promised, and to teach you to rely on His promise even when it seems like He is not coming through on it.


He wants to make you, as a king and priest together with Jesus, a co-worker in Jesus’ royal work of saving sinners and having mercy on the just and the unjust.


How?  Through prayer.


When does God say “Your will be done?”


God says “Your will be done”:

  1.  Not to those who trust in their own righteousness.
  2. But to those who come to Jesus only clinging to His grace and His promise.

1.Not to those who trust in their own righteousness.


How Jesus got to Tyre and Sidon.


Debate with the Pharisees, who were “offended”.  The worst thing Jesus could do…It was apparently as great a crime then as it is today–to offend good, upstanding people like this.  Even though they were plotting to kill him.


They trusted in their heritage and traditions; they were proud of those

They were dutiful and proud of that.

Prayer was not a necessity for them, like it is for a drowning man, but a duty.

Didn’t have much love for sinners.

Jesus said they were blind leaders of the blind.


He withdrew from them repeatedly when it looked like they would kill Him; didn’t have a



The Pharisee in us;

Pride in heritage, traditions

Pride over dutifulness

Prayer and worship as a duty

Writing off the immoral world, as though our moral lives were enough to please God.

But if that’s all we have, we are whitewashed tombs, full of bones and all manner of uncleanness.


Real prayer comes from people who first of all believe that there is no basis on which they can approach God when it comes to how they have lived or who they come from.

We come from those who are sinful from birth—Even godly relatives


There is no work that we have done that is not either a vain rule of men or else tainted by original sin


  1. Those who come to Jesus clinging only to His grace and promise hear “Thy will be done.”


Canaanite woman had everything against her.

Tyre, Sidon, Canaan call to mind the most godless nations

She had faith despite her little access to the Word


Even Jesus seemed to reject her.

He doesn’t answer.

Then He tells his disciples He hasn’t come for her.


Finally he calls her a dog.


That is when she overcame Jesus.  They wrestled, and she overcame the Son of God.


How?  Not with her goodness, but with His, and with His promise.


The struggle in prayer is that the law opposes us and says God should not hear us.

When this happens we think all the promises are for someone else.


When I was in my early twenties, reading the Psalms and always thinking the gracious

words did not apply to me because I didn’t fulfill requirements.  The psalm for today:


“All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his

covenant and his testimonies.”  “None who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall

be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.”


She agrees that she is a dog, a Canaanite; she doesn’t ask for honor, but to be shown the grace that a little dog receives.


Actually she is not a dog but a true descendant of Israel.  “The sons of Abraham are those of faith.”


So when we come to God in prayer, we “Overcome” him by admitting that we are nothing but sinners, but saying, “Here is your word to sinners like me; you promise to save and hear them.”


God wants us to overcome Him.  (This comes through steadfast clinging to His Word)


If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.  John 15:7-8  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give it to you.  John 15:16 


Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, He will give it to you.  Until now you have asked nothing in my name.  Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.  John 16:23-24


“One should not despise a Christian person as if he were a Turk, a pagan, or a godless person.  He is precious in God’s sight and his prayer is powerful and great, for he has been sanctified by Christ’s blood and anointed with the spirit of God.  Whatever he sincerely prays for, especially in the unexpressed yearning of His heart, becomes a great, unbearable cry in God’s ears.  God must listen, as He did to Moses, Exodus 14…[when He said] “Why do tyou cry to me?” even though Moses couldn’t whisper, so great was his anxiety and trembling in the terrible fears that beset him…This and even more can be accomplished by a true, spiritual longing.  Even Moses did not know how or for what He should pray, not knowing how the deliverance would be accomplished—but his cry came from his heart.”  Luther (Comfort for Women who have had a Miscarriage)


The peace of God which passes understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.


Soli Deo Gloria


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