READ: Matthew 6:9-13
- The concluding phrase of the first part of the prayer says, “on earth as it is in heaven.” The clear indication is that God’s will has already been decided, but, it has not yet been carried out on earth. This clearly indicates that God has limited His actions. Some suggest God’s sovereignty overrides human responsibility. If that were so, this prayer would make no sense. His will would automatically be done on earth, no matter what.
- However, Jesus’ instructions are to pray that “His will is done on earth as it is in heaven.” We have a part to play in that will. Whatever it is that God is looking to have done “on earth” exists in His mind and often has been revealed in His word. This kingdom prayer is not about my personal circumstances. It’s about His rule and reign on earth (Kingdom image). It would be helpful for all believers to remember the focus is on God, “Our Father,” and on our inability, “give us.”
- God knows what He wants done on earth. He knows the obedience He seeks from His people. The very act of following this prayer is the act of submission to doing what He desires. When we pray “your will be done”, as a church or as individuals, we are committing ourselves to doing that will. He’s obviously not going to simply override our disobedience. He’s not going to ignore our indifference or our rebellion. If it is done “on earth AS it is in heaven”, it’s because we cooperate with God.
- How do you explain to others the difference between a “corporate approach” to this prayer and an “individual approach”?
- List those things that come immediately to mind when you hear “the will of God.”
- Why is doing His will so difficult for us?
PRAY: Commit yourself to obedience. Pray for us as a congregation to be faithful to His will. Ask Him to continue to bless our congregation.