When Jesus taught His disciples to pray He first told them to pray for the PERSON of God, “Holy be Your name.” Then he said to pray for the PROGRAM of God, “Your kingdom come.” Not He is saying to pray for the PURPOSE of God, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” These are the first three petitions, all focusing on God and not man.
God’s purpose in this world and in our lives is to have His will done as it is done in heaven (Matthew 6:10). Just how is His will done in heaven? First, look at the universe and how the moon, sun, stars, galaxies and everything obeys His will. It moves in perfect harmony as God wills it to move.
Think, too, of the angels in heaven and how they do God’s will. They surround His throne obeying His every command, worshipping and serving in any way God would wish, always being in perfect fellowship with God and with each other. They “do His bidding” and “obey His word” (Psalm 103:20). God’s will is always done in heaven, 100% of the time. Never is His will not done. When it is done it is done instantly, no waiting or hesitating or putting off even for a moment. No sooner is God’s will known than it is carried out.
When His will is done, it is done completely, every detail taken care of, nothing left even the slightest big unfinished. It never has to be checked up on or redone. In addition to these, His will is done with a heart attitude of joy. There is never any complaining, selfishness or self-centeredness. Never any fear as a motive, or things done to impress or manipulate God. Obedience is instantaneous, complete and joyful.
That’s what we are praying for when we pray that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. That means we are committing to do His will, whatever He asks, as soon as He asks, and with a joyful spirit. Is that how you follow God’s will? Is your faithfulness, your holiness, your trust and obedience done as the angels in heaven do so? That’s what we pray for when we pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
(Written by Jerry Schmoyer, 2014. You can find more of his writings at http://www.christiantrainingonline.org/. If you have questions or suggestions feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org)