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…
I. WHAT IS MEANT BY THE WILL OF GOD.
1. The will of God's commands (Hebrews 13:24; Matthew 7:21). God's will may be reduced to two heads:
2. The will of God's providence (Psalm 135:6). It may be considered —
(1) As directing to duty (Psalm 32:8);
(2) As ordering and disposing of events about ourselves and others (Matthew 10:29, 30).
II. BY WHOM GOD'S WILL IS DONE IN HEAVEN.
1. By the heavenly bodies — sun, moon, and stars.
2. By the angels.
III. THE IMPORT OF THIS PETITION.
1. With reference to the will of God's command.
(1) A confession that —
(a) The will of God is not done on earth as it is in heaven,
(b) There is in all men naturally an utter indisposition and unfitness for the will of God's commands.
(2) A profession that —
(a) It is the grief of their hearts, that God's will is not done by themselves or others, as it is done in heaven (Matthew 21:29).
(b) That God by the power of His grace is able to reform this, and to frame the souls of men on earth to the doing His will, as in heaven.
(3) A desire
(a) That He would by His grace remove from themselves and others all spiritual blindness and cause them to know His will (Ephesians 1:17, 18).
(b) That God by His grace would remove from themselves and others all weakness, indisposition, and perverseness, and cause them to obey and do His will, as it is done in heaven (Psalm 119:35). And here as in a glass we may see what sort of doing the will of God the saints aim at and desire. It is —
(i) To do it evenly, without stumbling or changing their course.
(ii) To do it unweariedly.
(iii) To do it universally.
(iv) To do it humbly.
(v) To do it cheerfully.
(vi) To do it readily, without delay.
(vii) To do it constantly.
2. With reference to the will of God's providence.
(1) A confession —
(a) Of a natural aptness in all men to quarrel, repine, and murmur against the methods and disposals of Providence (Numbers 14:2).
(b) Of a natural backwardness to fall in with the designs of providence of one sort or other.
(2) A profession —
(a) of the saint's sorrow for this disposition of heart crossing the will of God;
(b) of the faith of the power of grace to subdue the will to this conformity.
(3) A desire for grace for a thorough compliance with the will of God's providence.
(4) A consent to the will of God, a yielding of the heart that it may be done.
IV. WHY the saints have such a concern that the will of God may be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
1. Because it is most just, holy, reasonable, and equitable, in all things, and they see it so (Psalm 119:128).
2. Because the glory of God, which of all things is dearest to the saints, is deeply interested in this matter.
3. Because this would make a heaven on earth. If there were such a harmony betwixt earth and heaven, that God's will were done in the one as in the other, it would make on earth —
(1) A heaven for beauty and order of all things.
(2) A heaven for happiness. The happiness of men lies in their assimilation to God; and they are so far like Him as they conform to His will.
(T. Boston, 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.