Summary: This sermon examines the third petition of our Lord’s Pattern for Prayer, "May Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven", seeking to explore how God communicates His Will to us.
A PATTERN FOR PRAYER
DOING GOD’S WILL
"So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. (Colossians 1:9-10, NLT)
"May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10, NLT)
A Church was located next to a busy highway frequented by large trucks. On occasions the church’s PA system would pick up truckers talking to one another on their shortwave CB radios. On one occasion the pastor was in the middle of his prayer, saying “O Lord we beseech you to visit us afresh this morning…” Suddenly he was interrupted by a loud voice that crackled over the PA system…”Ok! I’ll be their shortly…!”
Thus far as we have studied A PATTERN FOR PRAY that our Lord taught us, we have looked at …
THE FIRST PETITION … “May Your Name be kept Holy’ which deals with GOD’S PERSON … God’s Holiness and His requirement that we be made holy too!
Then we considered …
THE SECOND PETITION … “May Your Kingdom come soon” which deals with GOD’S PURPOSE… What God is doing in this sin-torn world! This was a …
• A PRAYER OF EXPECTANCY, anticipating the establishment of God’s Eternal Kingdom, the New Heaven and the New Earth
• PRAYER OF EVANGELISM, asking for the advancement of God’s Kingdom as the gospel reaches out to those outside the Kingdom
• A PRAYER OF ENTREATY, accepting Christ’s Lordship over all of our life.
For this last aspect to happen, we need in all sincerity to pray…
THE THIRD PETITION … “May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." ” which deals with GOD’S PROGRAM … Allowing God to direct our lives that we might fulfill His Plan for us,
As Paul reminds us …“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)
And as we read earlier … “We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.” (Colossians 1:9–10, NLT)
THIS IS GOD’S PROGRAM … GOD’S WILL FOR US
• To live lives that honor and please Him
• To live lives that produce good fruit, good things He planned for us to do to advance the Kingdom of God
• To live lives growing in our relationship with Him and being transformed to be like Christ.
THEREFORE WHEN WE PRAY … “May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." … WE ARE ASKING GOD TO HELP US TO …
1. ACCEPT HIS WILL
• This involves accepting that God does have a specific Will for the things you do, the choices you make, the values and norms that you adopt, the plans and ambitions you embrace.
• This involves accepting that God’s will for your life is in your best interests and is meant for your fulfillment and your advantage.
• This involves accepting that God has a far higher perspective and therefore knows what is in your best interests oft times in contradistinction to what you consider to be in your own best interests.
• This involves accepting that if any of your activities, your choices, your behaviour or your dreams, works against the three aspects of God’s Will for us mentioned above, i.e. …
To live a life that honor and please God
To live a life that produces good fruit
To live a life growing in your relationship with God … then it cannot be God’s will for you!
When we pray … “May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." … We are also asking God to help us to …
2. ACQUIESCE TO HIS WILL
That is to submit to His will for our lives. When we pray ‘May Your Will be done’ we are asking God to help us along with all of God’s People to be obedient to God and not to endeavour to make God do my will but rather to bring my will in line with His. This is not easy.
JI Packer says … “For God’s will to be done in our lives on earth in the way that is done among the angels will involve us in quite a struggle” (JI Packer – ‘Praying the Lord’s Prayer’)