By Not Known

The prayer that God’s will be done on earth extends the previous petition: Your kingdom come. God’s kingdom comes as his rule is extended. The final form of that is linked to the return of Jesus and the banishment of all evil. In the meantime, God’s people desire to see God’s will done on earth as part of our prayer that God’s name be hallowed.

The key to God’s will being done is that people enter his kingdom. There is little point in expecting non-Christians to behave like Christians in moral behaviour and such like. Such attempts will fail, for behaviour reflects character and the non-Christian will act out of non-Christian character. Even worse, attempts to force non-Christians to behave like Christians are apt to be counterproductive. Such attempts can set back the cause of Christ in that the non-Christian grows resentfully and stubbornly resistant to the gospel.

So, the first part of God’s will being done is that people quit their rebellion against God’s rule and submit to him by naming Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. Evangelism comes first in the outworking of this part of the prayer. What then? Christian people need to be taught what God’s will is so they know what pleases him. We then need to encourage one another to have such a love of God in our hearts that we will naturally desire to do God’s will rather than doing it as a matter of duty. We need to pray for the Spirit’s help both to know the application of Scripture in this or that situation, to have the desire to do it and to have the grace to do it.

The Lord Jesus models God’s will to us. He wanted to avoid the Cross, but submitted to it with the prayer: Not my will, but yours be done (Luke 22:42). May this be the prayer that is in our hearts and on our lips every time we mouth our desires to God. By all means let us tell God what we want, but let us always treat him as our Lord and King by asking that his will be done.

This is very personal in its applications. We need to look first to God’s will being done in our own life before it is done in the lives of others. We all have some areas where it is easy to do God’s will and others where it is hard. These hard areas are the test of our commitment. One sign of loving God as our Lord is that we are discontent if any part of our life is outside of the rule of his will.

So, next time we pray the Lord’s Prayer, let’s all ask God to show us those areas of our life where we need most to pray Your will be done.