And he said to them, When you pray, say, Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done…
Observe, then, that there are two ways of doing the Father's will: a right way, as, for instance, it is done in heaven, and a wrong way, as, for instance, it is done on earth. Not but that on earth our Father's will can be, and often is, done in a right way. But the cases, comparatively speaking, are so rare, that we must look elsewhere for our model, even as mariners in mid-ocean take their bearings, not from anything they can see around them, but from the heavenly bodies above them. What we are bidden, then, to pray is this: As Thy will is done in heaven, so, Father, may Thy will be done on earth! And now let us glance at some of the particulars of the way in which our Father's will is done in heaven And first, our Father's will is done in heaven voluntarily. There are two kinds of loyalty. There is the loyalty of necessity. Such is the loyalty of the material creation. There is not an atom of matter throughout measureless immensity but that obeys God's will instantly, completely, everlastingly. The star nearest the outskirts of creation and the atom nearest earth's centre alike join in an obedience profound and unquestioning. But in all this profound obedience there is no liberty of choice. And this in large measure is the loyalty of earth. For even wicked men, as we have seen, are doing God's will; but they do it reluctantly, in spite of themselves. And this brings us to consider the other kind of loyalty, the loyalty of choice. This is the supreme prerogative of the moral creation as distinguished from the material. Again: Our Father's will is done in heaven consciously. Not always, not even generally, is it thus done on earth. Wicked men, as we have seen, are doing God's will; but they do it unconsciously. Not in way of personal absorption into Deity, as the Buddhist craves, but in way of conscious response, do the angels in heaven do their Father's will. It is their will to do His will. Again: Our Father's will is done in heaven totally, with the whole nature. Alas! it is not so done on earth. Take even the saintliest of His children; with what a partial, fractional heart do they serve Him! Though the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. In heaven reason, judgment, memory, imagination, language, motive, choice, resolve, tendency, activity, obedience, cheerfulness, humility, gratitude, conscience, faith, hope, love, reverence, worship — every sensibility, every power, the nature as a whole and in each and every part, all, and without alloy, and in every one of the heavenly hosts, blend in a common incense of service and adoration. Again: Our Father's will is done in heaven joyously. Again: Our Father's will is done in heaven universally. Again: Our Father's will is done in heaven concurrently. And to each dweller in heaven is assigned his own part, be it voice or finger, in the ever-varying music of the skies; and each fulfils his own part in perfect time and chime, so that not a note is wanting or superfluous, not a note dissonant, in the universal choir — archangel and saint, principality and firstborn — all heaven itself, evermore moving in majestic concurrence and beatific melody. Again: Our Father's will is done in heaven uninterruptedly and everlastingly. How irregular and fitful is the obedience of many of God's children on earth! In way of conclusion, let it be observed: One there is who, in the sphere of manhood, has done the Father's will on earth even as the angels do it in heaven. "Then said I, Lo! I am come — in the volume of the book it is written of Me, to do Thy will, O God!"
(G. D. Boardman, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.