Matthew 6:10 “In this manner therefore pray:
“Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.“
How many times have you heard what is traditionally called “The Lord’s prayer”?
Many people have made this pattern of prayer a nightly ritual, others have used it for penance before God, and some have used it rightly as a blueprint for how to structure their prayers.
Setting aside the discussion of its significance as a whole, my focus is more on the details; specifically, what does it mean to pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven?
Isn’t the Lord here now? Doesn’t His Spirit dwell in and among His people?
I know the Lord is present among His people, I have seen His work upon the earth in my life and many others. Therefore, why should I pray that His will in Heaven be that upon the earth?
Maybe we can look at how Jesus preached to gain some idea…
The preaching of John the Baptist was in preparation, the preaching of Jesus became the purpose.
Matthew 4:17 “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
- John came preaching “prepare the way”; Jesus came revealing that He was the Way.(John 14:6)
- John preached to make HIs paths straight; Jesus preached that small was the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
- John preached about the One who is worthy; Jesus revealed that He is the One who leads to life itself.(Matt. 7:14)
- John proclaimed Jesus’ glory and the honor He was due; Jesus chose not to glorify Himself but made Himself nothing.(Php.2:7)
The Kingdom of Heaven was at hand because Jesus’ ministry had begun. The promised Messiah was here and He who was foretold by all the prophets was now amongst them.
- Jesus held the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Jesus gave these keys to Peter and the disciples.
Matthew 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
- The keys were first God’s authority.
But there were more to these keys that Jesus bequeathed to those in whom He trusted.
We have a clue in writings of Isaiah….
Isaiah 22:22 ” And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.”
What did Eliakim open that no one could shut? The reference in Isaiah was a foreshadowing of Christ to come.
This same honor is one that Jesus holds in the vision of John.
Revelation 3:7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.”
Barnes writes: “And the key – A key is that by which a house is locked or opened. To possess that is, therefore, to have free access to it, or control over it. Thus we give possession of a house by giving the “key” into the hands of a purchaser, implying that it is his; that he has free access to it; that he can close it when he pleases, and that no other one, without his permission, has the right of access to it.”
- The house is the KIngdom of Heaven and has been made available by Jesus.
The opportunity for people to gain entry or be shut out, was the position of One who has the government on His shoulders. The weight of responsibility is bore upon the shoulders of the Savior.
Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
How do people gain entry?
The Gospel presents the way….
The message of the gospel was first presented by Jesus but it has been present from the beginning of time. Woven within the tapestry of God’s hand in Creation, demonstrated through people’s lives, and foreshadowed by the way God revealed Himself among His people. Rom. (1:2)
The gospel remained veiled until the Light of Christ made it evident to the world.
2 Corinthians 4:6 “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
The gospel declares the sinfulness of man and the peace made possible through Jesus’ sacrifice of love. It is this declaration of authority that is key in the lives of God’s people.
We have been bequeathed the responsibility to show the world the door to eternal life and determine the parameters for all who would enter.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”
The honor and authority bestowed upon God’s people is God’s call of reconciliation.
Therefore the call of the gospel is as simple as this….
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
God’s Heavenly Will
God’s will is for peace with God and man to reign once again. This peace is present in Heaven, and is offered for those who have accepted the guilt offering of Jesus that they may be brought into fellowship with the Father.
One day, the earth will know this peace. The curse of sin will be gone, the enemy will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, and the earth and the heavens will be made new once again.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”
What are aspects of God’s will?
- That no little ones should perish.(Matt. 18:14)
- Obedience.(John 14:23)
- That all would believe.(John 3:16)
- Our sanctification(1 Thess. 4:3)
- Those who listen to the Son(Matt. 17:5)
- That we would follow Jesus’ example(Luke 22:19)
- That His people would be made righteous.(Romans 5:19)
- That is people would be salt and light in the world.(Matt. 5:13-14)
Do you see any patterns beginning to unfold?
God’s will seems to be centralized in His people. Whether it entails walking with Him, growing in Him, or in presenting the gospel to the world, His people are key in His Kingdom.
Can you see what an honor it is to be called by His name?
There are many aspects of God’s will, they have been fulfilled in perfection in Heaven, they will be fulfilled to perfection upon the earth.
When we pray that God’s will be done here, we should be taking into consideration our role in making that happen. If you have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, you too have His purpose and ultimately—God has bestowed upon you the honor of being His child.
That alone is enough.