Lord’s Prayer notes #4: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven

Following are the rough teacher’s notes from week 4 of a recent eight-week adult Sunday School series on the Lord’s Prayer. See also week 1, week 2, week 3, week 5, week 6, week 7, and week 8.

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”


We’ve prayed…
– …”Hallowed be thy name” (known and worshipped as holy)
– …”Thy kingdom come” (both causes and effect of previous petition being answered)
Now: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (‘Thy kingdom come’: power; ‘Thy will be done’ etc.: response to that power)

1. Thy will be done…

We pray for this
We desire this
Do we?
Learn to love the things that please Him
Learn to hate those things that displease Him
“Hence also we must desire that he would nullify and suppress all affections which are repugnant to his will.” –Calvin, Institutes 3.20.43…
Think about this.
What do we want? Cleansed from sin, holy vessels set apart for our Master’s use?
Or our own way?
We want both
No one can serve two masters
Which will it be?
Our rightful master will return…

Our prayer: “Thy will be done”

Must desire first in our own life
Then for the world

“Thy will be done” – what is God’s will?

1.1. Two aspects: Revealed and secret

  • His revealed will – His commands to men – we are responsible to obey
    God instructs and commands
    God corrects
    God disciplines
    God “desires truth in the inmost parts”
    God sends His prophets and pastors to preach His word
  • His secret will – He ordains whatever comes to pass

“If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it?” -Amos 3:6
We’re not used to a trumpet of war (used to peace and security)
If crunch & rumble of tanks rolling into our cities, enemy fighter jets overhead – sounds of war – we would tremble!
Even more so if we’d had that happen before
The answer to the first is “YES!”
The answer to the second is the same: YES!

  • Nothing happens outside of His secret will
    God & the devil aren’t equal

Example: A horrible time in Israel – Invasion by wicked Assyria
– God declares that Assyria is the rod of His anger (Isaiah 10:5-7)
– Assyria didn’t realize it

This should comfort us
It comforted apostles
*Read Acts 4:23-25,27-28.

So…none can oppose His sovereign will
Why pray then?
Why obey?
Why do anything?
Not response of faith
Wise soldier: finds out his side is sure to win – doesn’t quit!

God’s secret will: God is building His kingdom
It will look more and more like His revealed will
We desire that, work for it

2. …on earth as it is in heaven

  • A king comes in power: not everyone is happy. Some suppress hatred…
  • May it not be so!
  • Not skulking subservience…

How is God’s will done in heaven?
– Holy angels, saints who have gone before
– Perfectly
– Exactly as God requires, with humility, cheerfulness, faithfulness, diligence, zeal, sincerity, and constancy.
– Without sin

Our flesh fights against this
We don’t desire “thy will be done…”
– We deserve a break today
Who is God, that He demands such thorough obedience?
– Maker, Sustainer, Redeemer, Brother, Father, the Holy One
– Hallowed be thy name!

Even when we do desire it – still unhappy…

*Read Psalm 47

3. Big Problem

Not one of us felt like praising God during this psalm
– “Clap your hands”? “Shout for joy”? – nothing
– “God has ascended with a shout” (of triumph)? – no comfort
– “God reigns over the nations,” “God sits on His holy throne”? – no comfort
Should be a celebration – was a funeral

Why no comfort?
– We have no faith to believe God’s promises
– We think God talks big
– Some: God is a great fool who boasts and doesn’t deliver
– The rest: God will deliver, but not here, now.
We’re ok with that
Hunker down, wait for the rapture.

Our prayer: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in heaven as it is in heaven”
– Don’t think there’s any help now
– Don’t believe God is building anything now
– Refuse to be comforted, encouraged
– We say, “I’m alright, it’s ok, don’t need those promises”

Does God offer superfluous help?
– Safe to disbelieve His promises and have faith strengthened some other way? (No!)
– When God comforts, we must be comforted
– Encourages…be encouraged
– Promises……believe His promises
Otherwise… we pray this petition with no faith that He will answer.

Worse: We’ll live without faith
What good is the Great Commission if He doesn’t give success?
What good is it to work to build churches, schools
What good is it to work to reform governments according to His Word?
Is God at work or not?

==> We must repent of our unbelief.
What this will look like: We’ll be comforted by His promises.
Because we believe them.

Re-read Psalm 47 (imagine: what would it be like if we believed this?)

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