In this manner, therefore, pray: …Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10)
In 1 Timothy 2:4, we learn that it is God’s will that everyone be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. However, we read from the Scriptures that there will be those who will refuse to love the truth and thus not be saved (2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12) and will suffer eternal damnation in everlasting fire (Matthew 25:31-46, Rev 20:11-15). Similarly, it is God’s will that the sick be healed (Matthew 8:17, 1 Peter 2:24; James 5:15; Exodus 23:25). But if we should fail to accept God as our Healer and refuse to appropriate by faith the blessing of healing He has given us in Christ, we could needlessly die should we fall sick (see 2 Chronicles 16:12-13). And this has sadly been the fate of many. From this, the Bible makes it clear that God’s will for our lives (families, cities or nations) isn’t always going to be done just because it is His will. We must desire His will and want it enough to engage Him to see it come to pass. And this is something we must do daily. This is because God did not create us as automatons but as beings with the freedom and power to choose (Deuteronomy 30:19) and He does not violate our will. Being born again does not cause you to lose the freedom and power to choose. Therefore, as long as we live, we will daily have to make the choice to follow God’s will, our will or the devil’s. So, Jesus taught us to pray for God’s will to be done.
We find the early church resorting to the will of God when they encountered a difficult situation. In Acts 21:4, the Bible says, “After looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through [the] Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem”. In this verse, the Holy Spirit admonished Paul not to set foot in Jerusalem through the disciples. However, Paul had earlier resolved to go to Jerusalem and will not be persuaded to do otherwise. Now, the Spirit of God is not the author of confusion, and He does not contradict Himself. Therefore, when we read that “Paul had resolved in [the] spirit to go to Jerusalem” (Acts 19:21), it couldn’t have possibly been the Holy Spirit telling him to do so but he rather resolving in his spirit to do so. Again, the Prophet Agabus came and told Paul of what hardship awaited him should he go to Jerusalem, although Agabus missed out on some of the details (Acts 21:10-11; 27-40). When those with Paul heard what the Prophet said, they begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem but Paul firmly refused (Acts 21:10-13). So they said “The will of the Lord be done” (Acts 21:14). And this is exactly what Jesus taught us to pray.
Not only are we to pray for God’s will to be done, but we have also been commanded in the New Testament to always invoke the will of God in our conversation and manner of living. James 4:13-15 says, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that”. Again, the Bible teaches us that we should be transformed by renewing our minds so that we can know what the will of God is (Romans 12:2), for it is foolishness not to understand the will of God (Ephesians 5:17). How much more foolish will it be if we refuse to dwell in God’s will? Therefore, Jesus has shown us the way of wisdom: “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven…thy will be done one earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10).
Kwadwo Omari, PhD
February 3, 2019.
IMPORTANT: If you do not know the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour, this is the time to surrender your life to God, and accept Jesus as your Saviour. This is the way to eternal life and salvation from hell and eternal torments when this life is over. You can pray this prayer sincerely from your heart to receive Jesus as your Saviour: “I come to you God in Jesus name and surrender my life unto you. I repent of my sins and I ask that You forgive me of all my sins. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, and I believe with my heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead. I thank you God for saving me, in Jesus name, Amen”. If you sincerely prayed this prayer, be assured that you are saved, for the Bible says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13, Romans 10:10, Acts 16:31). Find a Bible believing church to attend so that you can be discipled to grow in the ways of God. You can also email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will be happy to grow together with you in Christ.