In this fourth post on the Lord’s Prayer, we reach a request for God’s will to be done on earth.
It makes perfect sense that God’s will is done in heaven but why is this not so on earth also, if he is God? Shouldn’t he get his way (will) whenever he wants?
At this point, I think we need to connect some dots.
In last week’s post we saw the mission statement of God’s kingdom: make disciples of all nations. It makes sense then that God’s will would be that all people are his disciples.
I don’t think that’s the sum total of God’s will, but we could call it his ‘macro’ will.
It is quite obvious that around the world today not everyone is God’s disciple. If you read the post two weeks’ ago when we were in the courtroom with God, you’ll recall that he gives people a choice whether to submit to his authority or not.
We can submit to God’s will in big ways and small ways, yet ultimately it is all the same, or symptomatic of the bigger choice to either submit or rebel.
It makes sense that Christians would pray about God’s will, straight after ‘your kingdom come’. If Christians desire for more people to believe in God, then they desire more people to live in line with God’s ways. It’s a completely logical progression within the prayer.
Living in line with God’s ways means our hearts need to change to wanting what God wants. This impacts on the big decisions in our lives – worldviews, work, relationships, time, and money – and the smaller decisions – leisure activities, how you fill in your tax return, how fast you drive your car and the language you use, or don’t use. All these things are either decisions to conform with God’s will or to go against it.
At this point you might think that to pray for God’s will on earth is an expression of the weakness of Christianity. Or in other words, if God is God, why doesn’t the world just do as he wants all the time? Why did he give a choice in the first place?
If you’re thinking that, I suggest you read Romans chapters 9-10 because if God is God, the way he operates isn’t going to be super simplistic. That wouldn’t be logical, right?
There’s actually far too much complexity going on here, so a blog post can’t explore it satisfactorily. However, I will say that despite the choice given, many Christians still believe that God has ultimate control and that nothing actually happens outside his will.
But sometimes God wants us to pray to make that will happen.
This does not prove that God doesn’t make sense or doesn’t have enough power. It’s actually evidence of the mind-blowing fact that God actually takes us miniscule people seriously and that our prayers are not just us talking to the ceiling or to ourselves. They are instead ‘powerful and effective’ as it says in the New Testament.
Yours in too much complexity,