Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Third Petition of the Lord\'s Prayer

March 21 - Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean? The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.

How is God’s will done? God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God’s name or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His Word and faith until we die.
This is His good and gracious will.

When was the last time that you prayed for someone’s will to happen to you?  Probably not often.  It is a bold thing to say.  Imagine you saying that to anyone.  “Let your will happen to me.  Whatever you want to do, do it.”

That is scary!  What if it is something we do not want to have happen to us.  Saying this leaves us without power and without control.  We are left at the mercy of the person whose will is happening to us.
This is why Luther begins by saying, “The good and gracious will of God.”  He must remind us that while we are left as beggars and children while someone else’ will is happening to us, that this is our Father in Heaven.  His will is good.  It is always good.  Even when it looks like the portion that is being offered to us is one of suffering.  It may yet prove to be for our salvation!

Here Luther once again remarks that whether you want it to happen to you or not, God’s will is going to happen.  Nothing, not even you, will stand in God’s way of his will occurring.  So when God’s will happens, we are asking it to happen to us.

So what is God’s Will?  We can find it expressed in the 10 commandments.  This is what God wills for you.  But there is more.  Luther here finds two ways in which we can understand God’s Will.
First, God’s will is to break evil.  He wants evil to be done away with because it hurts and harms what he has made.   Evil can be found in three places.  The first is the devil.  He always seeks to undermine God.  The second place is the world.  The world opposes Christ because it has a different will it wants to accomplish.  The last place is our own flesh.  God is looking to break you.  Your evil habits and all that opposes him.  He does this through suffering so that we might look to him in our sorrows.

The last part of God’s will is for you to die in the faith.  He wants you to die confessing Christ with your final breath.  It is through this that God works to achieve all His ends.
So if you are wanting to figure out what God’s will is.  He wants to break evil in us and to keep you in the faith.  So as you make life decisions ask yourself those two questions.  If that new job pays double but takes you away from family and church, the best thing to say is that you will not take that position in order to be a better husband and father.

God wants you to enjoy him for all eternity, and so he would have us ask that His will would happen to us.  May God’s will be done to us indeed!
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