Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven
Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Westminster Shorter Catechism
When we pray “thy will be done” we often have other people in mind, or perhaps the nation as a whole. There are all sorts of situations in our mind, and we really would like God to sort those out.
All well and good, but do we often apply this line of the Lord’s Prayer to ourselves? To the catechism!
Q. 103. What do we pray for in the third petition?
A. In the third petition, (which is, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven, (Matt. 6:10)) we pray, That God, by his grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to his will in all things, (Ps. 67, Ps. 119:36, Matt. 26:39, 2 Sam. 15:25, Job 1:21) as the angels do in heaven. (Ps. 103:20–21)
What is interesting in this answer is the way in which we see God’s will being brought about in our own lives. We pray that God would so soften and change our hearts so that it would be our desire to do his will. This is not God forcing us down a particular path, but wooing us to follow. Our will aligns with God’s will.
There are often debates about the extent of what is called “Free Will” in humans, but here we can see how God’s will is done - along with our will.