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…
A man that shooteth at a mark within his reach may shoot short for want of putting out his full strength.
(W. Gouge.)What are the particulars for which by virtue of the third petition we ought to pray?
1. Such as concern the petition itself.
2. Such as concern the direction added thereto. To how many heads may the things which concern the petition itself be referred? To four especially. Which are these —
1. The rule itself, in this word "will."
2. The restraint of it, in this particle "Thy."
3. The extent of it, in this phrase "be done."
4. The place where it is to be done, "in earth." What desire we in regard of the rule?
1. Knowledge of God's Word; for in and by God's Word is His will revealed, and knowledge thereof is the ground of true obedience, "Give me understanding," saith the Psalmist, "and I shall keep Thy law: yea, I shall keep it with my whole heart." Desire of obedience without knowledge is very preposterous. An ignorant man practise is like a blind man's wandering in by-ways. How can it otherwise be, but that such should fall into many dangers?
2. A conformity of our will to God's; or a readiness in our will and heart to yield to whatsoever we shall know to be God's will.
3. Strength of memory to hold fast God's Word, and that in the good directions and sweet consolations, in the precepts and promises thereof.
4. Life of conscience, both to cheer us up in doing the will of God, and also to check us when we swerve from the same, and not to suffer us to be quiet till we turn to it again.
5. Love of God's Word: that our hearts be so set upon it, as we make it our joy and delight.
6. Renovation of our outward parts, that they may be made instruments in their several functions, to execute God's will: that thus as there is a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also.What desire we in regard of the restraint of the fore-named rule in this word "Thy"?
1. A distinct understanding of the excellency and perfection of God's will.
2. A right discerning of the vanity and corruption of the creature's will, especially when it is not agreeable to God's.
3. A denial of our own will.
4. Mortification of the flesh. For "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, so that we cannot do the things that we would."What desire we in regard of the extent of the fore-named rule? (be done).
1. An accomplishment of whatsoever God hath determined.
2. A contented submission to everything which God bringeth to pass.What desire we in regard of the place here specified for doing the will of God, "in earth"?
1. Grace well to use the time of this mortal life. For the time while we abide on earth is the day wherein we may work, and the time of doing good.
2. Universal subjection to God's will throughout this world. For this indefinite phrase, in earth, showeth that our desire ought to be extended to all that are on the face of the earth. To how many heads may their manner of obedience be reduced? To six especially: which are these that follow: —
5. Ardency and zeal.
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.