Summary: An examination of the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer, a prayer of submission to the Lord’s will.
A Study of the Lord’s Prayer
Sermon # 4
“Thy Will Be Done”
“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. (10) Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” (NKJV)
We are to pray for the person of God, “Hallowed be thy name;” for the program of God, “Thy kingdom come;” and for the purpose of God, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is the third and final “thy” petition, which centers on God.
It is unfortunately true that uncounted millions have repeated the words “thy will be done” without the faintest notion of what God’s will is. Perhaps even more alarming is that even more people have repeated these words without any intention whatever of seeing to it that the Father’s will is done.
Praying for His will to be done provides the very foundation for our prayers. We are asking that God’s will be done in our lives and in the world surrounding us. I suspect that we often get it in reverse, and pray as if we expect God to change the universe just to accommodate us. We treat God little better than a genie in a magic lamp. We make our wish known, we expect God to change the universe to give us what we want.
The petition “thy will be done” is in the aorist tense in the original Greek, which indicates “point” action. When you ask “thy will be done,” you must be willing to do it “right now.” Notice you are not asking God to change His will or to bless your will, you are asking Him to help you find and do His will in your life.
When you pray “thy will be done” you are praying for at least four things. [Elmer Towns. Praying The Lord’s Prayer for Spiritual Breakthrough. (Ventura, Calif: Regal, 1997). p. 98]
A. To discover what God’s will is.
Psalm 119:18 (NKJV) “Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.”
Before we can do God’s will, we need to know God’s will. To pray “thy will be done” is a commitment to knowing God’s will as it is revealed in His word. Naturally it follows, that if we are going to know the will of God in our everyday affairs, we are going to have to read the book in which his will has been laid out.
B. To Understand what God’s will is.
There seems to be a lot of confusion over deciding what God’s will is, when dealing with some very practical issues. The following are some guidelines to help you.
1. Is what I am concerned about in agreement with what is expressed in His word? If so fine, if not don’t do it!
2. Have faced a similar situation before? If so what did God reveal to you at that time? If you made a mistake don’t repeat it!
3. If the decision is difficult, seek godly counsel.
“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14 (NKJV)
4. Make the decision a matter of quiet and earnest prayer. Ask the Father to impress on your spirit what is the proper course of action. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 (NKJV)
5. Don’t ignore the common sense that God has given you.
6. Take your time. Do not make hasty and impatient decisions. God is seldom in a rush about things.
7. Anticipate that the passage of time will either open or close a door of opportunity. This should be recognized with a sense of peace and acceptance. [drawn from W Phillip Keller. A Layman Looks t the Lord’s Prayer. (Chicago: Moody, 1976) pp. 83-84]
C. To Submit to God’s will
It is not enough just to know the will God, one must then apply it. “Thy will be done”, is in reality a prayer of submission. According to Romans 12:2, it is our privilege to submit to that “… that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (NKJV). The truth is that the cause of all the unrest, frustration, unhappiness and sense of powerlessness in the life of a Christian can be traced to trying to follow our own self- will. At the back of all our failure is the desire to have my way not His way. It’s basis is a will that says No to God!
D. To Accomplish God’s plan
“Both the outward look and the inward look reveal that the will of God is not being done. Because it is not being done in the Christian, there is no blessing in the church. And because there is no blessing in the church, the world is unreached, untouched, going to hell, lost for time and eternity.” [Alan Redpath. Victorious Praying: Studies in The Lord’s Prayer. (Grand Rapids: Revell Books, 1993) p. 54]