God willing.


I was wondering: Can we say “God willing” throughout the day when speaking of future events? Such as, “Tomorrow, God willing, I am going to work.” Or, “I’m going to the store, God willing. Need anything?” I know it is done like the latter statement in Islam.

Also, when someone mentions a Saints name, or we mention a Saints name, should we say, “Pray for us,” immediately after? Such reminds me of saying peace be upon him in Islam.

I read these statements in the above posted link.

Thank you for your time and God bless.

In Christ, through Mary,


EnShallah is the Arabic term for God Willing. It was the first term that I learned when I lived in the Middle East. It was used by Muslims and Christians alike.

Thank you for the response. I have done a lot of research on Islam as well. Since most people do not know what Allah really means, I should probably just say it in English, huh?

A friend always says “I’ll meet you for lunch next week if God says the same”, or “If God spares my life.” She uses these phrases quite often. I just thought of it as placing her life into the hands of God. I haven’t taken on that as a habit. I do tell people God bless upon separating or on the phone. An intercessory prayer to a particular saint, I would say, “Saint ____, pray for us” and in a Litany.

In my opinion, it is unnecessary and excessive to say “God willing” in situations where the outcome is all but certain. Therefore I would be inclined to simply say “I am going to the supermarket” or “I’ll see you next week,” and reserve the phrase “God willing” for more distant prospects like “I would like to see Italy,” or “We will adopt another child.”

I can understand that. But, in my opinion, nothing is truly certain in life.

I sometimes use the phrase “God willing and the creek don’t rise.” In my case, there really is a creek that could cut us off from town if it rises too much. That’s happened only once in the last 15 years, but it could happen again! :slight_smile:

Truly, but one may bear in mind the minor, everyday uncertainties without speaking of them at every opportunity. Perhaps praying an occasional Our Father would suffice to acknowledge our dependence on God in all things.

Thanks for the reminder of the old saying. It’s a way of saying “I’ll be there,” or “I will see you then,” or “it will get done” barring the unforeseen. Like the Arab EnShallah, it’s placing our trust in God and not worrying about the future. If “the creek does rise,” we’ll be out there with the sandbags.

Prayer is an everyday thing. So, what’s the harm in saying God willing?

Very good way to put it.

I’d try to avoid it wherever possible. From the Catechism (emphasis my own):

2142 The second commandment prescribes respect for the Lord’s name. Like the first commandment, it belongs to the virtue of religion and more particularly it governs our use of speech in sacred matters.

2143 Among all the words of Revelation, there is one which is unique: the revealed name of God. God confides his name to those who believe in him; he reveals himself to them in his personal mystery. The gift of a name belongs to the order of trust and intimacy. **“The Lord’s name is holy.” **For this reason man must not abuse it. He must keep it in mind in silent, loving adoration. He will not introduce it into his own speech except to bless, praise, and glorify it.

2155 **The holiness of the divine name demands that we neither use it for trivial matters, **nor take an oath which on the basis of the circumstances could be interpreted as approval of an authority unjustly requiring it. When an oath is required by illegitimate civil authorities, it may be refused. It must be refused when it is required for purposes contrary to the dignity of persons or to ecclesial communion.

(source: vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P7I.HTM)

Psalm 29:2 also says “Bring to the Lord glory and honour: bring to the Lord glory to his name: adore ye the Lord in his holy court.”

The first point is this, that glory is not being given to God by the casual use of His name. There’s a big difference between “Help us now, o God in heaven, if it is Your will!” (or another form intended as an actual prayer) and appending casually “God willing” onto everything you say. Casual use of God’s name reduces our reverence because it ignores its glory and holiness and trivialises it to the hearer (note: not necessarily to the speaker) by bringing God down to the everyday level.

The second point is that “God willing” is often abused and can lead us into difficult territory theologically. By abuse I mean that it’s not uncommon to hear somebody say “see you in half an hour, God willing”, then after two hours they turn up saying “it was the will of God that I be late” - what they should really be saying usually is “sorry I’m late” because God has not fixed the future (i.e. daily events are not predestined) and He is not in direct control of our timekeeping (free will and all that). I’m thinking particularly of the Arabic “in sha’ Allah” here which is so trivialised and misused but the same could maybe be said of the English version.

Say somebody’s going to war and his family says “he will come back safely, God willing”, but then he’s tortured and killed by the enemy. I don’t think it’s God’s will that the soldier didn’t come back safely: true, God has permitted the soldier’s torture and death to happen by giving free will to the torturers, but the torturers have then chosen to use their free will to do something wrong. God doesn’t will the evil that people do. This is getting into a separate issue, though.

I’ve had this discussion a lot with Oriental Orthodox and Sunnis but never with other Catholics, so I’m interested to see what people think of my €0.02.

“Be the Good Lord willin’ and the crick don’ rise,” was my Grandma’s version! :thumbsup:

This reminds me of a homily I heard, where the priest talked about segragating God from our lives. How even the avid mass goer who prays the liturgy of the hours can sperste God into those specific bubbles and basically ignore God when not doing God stuff… this would seem like desegregation of God from our lives. Sort of like doing a sign of the cross prayer before attempting to accomplish something to include God in your efforts rather than go it alone until mass.

From James 4:

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain”; 14 whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

So yes, of course we ought to do what Holy Scripture encourages us to do. :slight_smile:

BUT … we should do these things out of love for God and for His Providence, from our hearts, not because we are legalists or because we’re being superstitious, ascribing to a phrase some sort of power it doesn’t have.

Likewise, we should exercise common sense.

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