Your Will be Done

When we ask for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, what are we really praying for? Isn’t God’s will already being done?

The kingdom cannot blossom into its fullness until God’s will is done here on earth as it is in heaven. (Image © Bigstock)

The Master taught his disciples to pray the words of the Our Father prayer, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). The first three petitions of the Our Father prayer are closely linked. All three petitions ask God to bring the Messianic Era—the kingdom of heaven on earth. God’s name will only be properly “sanctified” when he brings his kingdom and accomplishes his will on earth. A similar prayer from the synagogue liturgy called Kaddish expresses the same sentiment, asking God to hallow (sanctify) his name by bringing the kingdom now:

Let his name be magnified and sanctified in the world … May he inaugurate his kingdom, sprout forth his salvation, and bring near his Messiah. (Kaddish)

The LORD says, “I will sanctify My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD … when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight” (Ezekiel 36:23). In other words, the LORD’s name will be sanctified (proven holy) when He redeems His people, bringing an end to exile and subjugation. The messianic redemption will sanctify God’s name.

Likewise, the Master instructed His disciples to pray for the advent of the Messianic Era. When we pray, “Your kingdom come,” we are beseeching God to bring about the prophetic “day of the LORD,” the final redemption, and the Messianic Age.

Petitioning God for the advent of the kingdom focuses our prayers upon Yeshua’s central gospel proclamation, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Yeshua declared the kingdom, and His own ministry represented the first glimmering of the coming kingdom. The kingdom, however, cannot blossom into its fullness until God’s will is done here on earth as it is in heaven. The clear theological implication of this petition is that God’s will is not, as of yet, done on earth.

A person who petitions God saying, “Your will be done on earth” should be conscientious about carrying out God’s will. Only a hypocrite prays for God’s will to be done while at the same time living in defiant rebellion to His revealed will (i.e., His commandments). In that regard, Yeshua prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

Do His will as if it was your own will so that He may do your will as if it was His own will. Set aside your will before His will so that He may set aside the will of others before your will. (m.Avot 2:4)

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