Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. -KJV
The Greek Text:
Be done the will of you as in Heaven, so upon the earth
“Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven”
In a previous article on The Lord’s Prayer we talked about the Kingdom of God and concluded that the Kingdom represents the ‘rule of God.’ Therefore wherever God rules, there is his Kingdom. So when we pray for his Kingdom to come we are really praying for an extension of his rule and authority, which is exactly what we are praying for also when we say:
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”
His will is done in Heaven. There is no sickness, there is no death, there is plenty of everything, and Father God has a relationship with everyone there. His will reigns in Heaven but not necessarily all the time here on earth though ultimately it does. Bad choices have changed the whole equation here and messed it all up. We have sickness, death, famine, and natural disasters. Also, sometimes nature itself seems to be completely out of control.
Jesus came to change the direction of all creation and bring it back and reconcile it to God the Father. God had given authority over all creation to the first man Adam and Satan stole it when Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden.
Jesus reversed the course of all creation when he lived as a perfect man and took back the mantle of authority over the earth. Matthew 28:18 tells us that Jesus now has all authority in Heaven and on Earth:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. –ESV
He holds the keys to bringing the rule of God to the earth just as it is right now in the Heavenly realm. And he has chosen us and called us to follow his example.
Roman 8:14-19 tells us that all creation awaits the revelation of the ‘Sons of God’:
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons[a] of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. –ESV
That is, All of creation awaits and is depending on some folks to wake up and understand more fully what it means to be the children of God through faith in Jesus and cry out—Abba Father!
All creation waits for a group of folks to not only pray- Thy will be done- but actually live it.
But how can it be done? How can we even know what the will of God is? Then how can we actually do the will of God on Earth? After all, all sorts of weird doctrines have been formed using this Romans 8 passage.
A lot of the will of God is communicated to us in his written Word—The Bible. If we follow all of the rules and teaching laid out there then will His will be done on earth at least in our lives? No, not necessarily, we could never be ‘religious’ enough. It is really all about relationship. One can follow all of the rules and yet really not know God the Father. How do we know? Because Jesus said so.
There were a bunch of folks (the Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees) that followed all of the rules and even elaborated on a few of them but Jesus told them that they didn’t even know God. Meanwhile, one of the religious rulers in Judea came to Jesus and asked him what more he needed to do to be received into the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus told him that he needed to be ‘born again’. The guy’s name was Nicodemus who was part of the ruling Sanhedrin, but he really didn’t understand what Jesus was saying.
Most people today think that it is just a matter of being ‘good enough’ to get into Heaven. Folks mistakenly think that God grades on the curve and since they aren’t all that bad they figure they’ll make it in. Nicodemus was a religious leader who followed everything he knew of in the scriptures, was one of the very best people in all of Judea, and was pretty well shocked when Jesus told him that he wouldn’t even get to see the Kingdom unless he was somehow ‘born again’.
Being ‘Born Again’ is really the key to doing the will of God. When we say yes to God and his plan and accept his son Jesus then that is the beginning of saying yes to the Word and will of God. When we submit to His plan of salvation through His Son Jesus, we then become part of the family of God and God the Father gives us a part of himself—His Holy Spirit to dwell in us. The Spirit is there to teach His ways and counsel us, to give us direction and to help us spread his love to all we come in contact with.
When we actually listen to the counsel and direction of God’s Spirit within us then we begin to actually do and live according to the will of God. The hardest part is to learn how to listen to the counsel and word of God for our lives in all we do.
We need to realize that when we pray ‘thy will be done’ we are actually committing ourselves to be a part of the fulfillment of that scripture. To date, Jesus is the only one who ever fulfilled the words of the prayer and did the will of His Father on earth as it is in Heaven.
It is only through His Spirit that we have any hope of doing any of the will of God. Individually we always fall short but collectively the ‘body of Christ’ working together for a change can make a difference and bring about changes that could never be accomplished alone. All creation waits for the ‘Body of Christ’ to rise up and do the will of the Father.
It would mean that for once, all of the body parts would be working together for a change, edifying and building up the entire body instead of working against each other. It would mean that finally there would be children of God responding to the Spirit of God –a blessed church that does what the Father is doing as Jesus did. John 5:19:
19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father[a] does, that the Son does likewise. –ESV
Can you even imagine a church that actually does the will of God on earth? Yes I know, with what we have today it is hard to imagine. Yet, that is what we are praying for when we say “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth”.
It is also what Jesus prayed for on his last night on earth in John 17:16-21, that we all may be unified as part of his family, doing the will of Father God:
16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them[b] in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself,[c] that they also may be sanctified[d] in truth.
20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us,… –ESV
The greatest fulfillment will wait for Christ’s return but I do believe that we can have and should have an increasing demonstration of the Kingdom in our midst, particularly in the ‘last days’ leading up to the coming of Christ.. Luke 12:32:
32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. –ESV
When he actually rules in our lives—we are walking in his Kingdom and his will is being done on earth.
How do we respond to all of this?
When we pray “thy will be done on earth” we should remember to pray for the salvation of all of our family and friends. It really is the will of God that everyone should accept the free gift of his Son Jesus and salvation. He really doesn’t want anyone to parish.
Another thing I am confident of when it comes to God’s will is to pray for the spiritual condition of myself, my family, and friends, that we all may be ever closer to Him.
Healing is another thing we can pray about—that’s what Jesus did. After all there is no disease in Heaven. It is the ultimate will of God to eradicate and eliminate sickness and death.
We still live in the context of a fallen world. But until death proves otherwise, we should continue to pray for complete healing, body and soul, for ourselves, our family, for our friends and neighbors, for folks that show up at church, and for everyone the Spirit tells us to pray for everywhere we go.
Another thing that is consistent with the will of God is for us to be free from anything that would enslave us –alcohol, drugs, gambling, and sex –or anything else that folks have a dependency problem with.
Demonic influence is another biggie– Jesus cast out demons wherever he went. We need to help release people from the chains and help take down the walls that the enemy has built enslaving people.
These are all things that we can pray about to God the Father with complete certainty along with anything else the Spirit prompts us to pray for.
I believe that it is our calling as the representatives of the Messiah—his body–to extend the ‘rule’ of God in this world. To do the works of Jesus–To bring healing and justice, and freedom for all, and hope for the poor and oppressed. We are to be agents of the Kingdom in this world and ambassadors for the world to come.
One of the ways we can extend the rule of God in our lives and in the world today is to take him with us wherever we go—we can actually change the environment at work, at school, while shopping in Walmart, and everywhere we go.
-1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray unceasingly:
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. –ESV
That means, by intention we take the Lord with us wherever we go and actually talk to him about what we are doing. If we do that, we will be walking in the Kingdom and it will change our lives and others.
It is time for the church to get this down—all of the church. I believe that the ‘Fatherhood of God’ and greater intimacy with him in all we do– will be part of the Kingdom message of a ‘New Awakening’ coming soon near you and the coming world-wide Great Harvest. Again, all of creation awaits for the church to understand more fully what it means to be and act like the children of God and cry out—Abba Father! (Romans 8:14-19).
Lesson 7 will be all about our favorite part of the prayer—“Give Us…”: -7. Victory in ‘Living’ The Lord’s Prayer: “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”