Jesus teaches us to pray that things on earth and in our lives may happen according to God’s will. His way of doing things is always right!
LD 49 q&a 124.
What is the third petition?
“Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.”
That is: Grant that we and all men
may deny our own will,
and without any murmuring
obey your will,
for it alone is good.
Grant also that everyone
may carry out the duties
of his office and calling
as willingly and faithfully
as the angels in heaven.
The third petition of the Lord’s prayer is closely related to the first two. When God’s will is done, his name is also glorified and hallowed. Wherever God’s will is done, his Kingdom becomes visible.
In the Bible, God’s “will” has two meanings.
(1) God has a plan for all that happens in the world, even for the evil things that happen. Nothing is outside of that plan. We call this God’s decree. Whatever God decrees, happens. We don’t know the details of God’s decree. But it is good to know that even when bad things happen, they have a place in that decree. We can trust that eventually, it will turn out for good.
(2) God has designed our lives with a purpose, and he tells us what he wants us to do. That is the will of God’s law. Whatever God prescribes in his law ought to happen; but because of our sinfulness and stubbornness, we often do something different.
God’s will is done perfectly in heaven, because the angels do not sin; they always obey God and do what he tells them. This obedience is an example for us. “On earth” it should be “as it is in heaven.” People like to do whatever they want, but a Christian learns to do (and to enjoy doing!) what God wants.
Read Mat 26:36-46. In which way did Jesus give an example of doing God’s will?
All: Memorize q&a 124.