Washington Gladden, D. D.
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…
God's will is revealed not only in the Bible, but also in nature and in providence. We learn the will of God as we learn the will of a man, net only by attending to what He has said, but by observing what He is doing. His works, quite as distinctly as His words, indicate His will. So when I pluck in the meadow a violet or a crowfoot bloom, and look it in the face and see how deftly its petals are carved and how daintily they are painted, then I learn a little of what God's will is. Such a thing of beauty as this is an expression of His thought and of His love. He no more wills that I should be holy than that this flower should be beautiful. And although the flowers are not all perfect; although in an unkindly environment some of them have been maimed and scarred; yet of this we are always sure, that the flower which is most beautiful comes nearest to being the flower that God meant to make, and did make in the beginning. So when we see a human being of full stature and fair proportions, with a clear eye and a ruddy skin, and the wholesome beauty that springs from perfect health, we are able to say with equal assurance that God's will is revealed in the body which the soul inhabits, however poorly it may be done by the inhabitant. And though there are many decrepit and diseased bodies in which human beings make their homes, yet we are sure that those bodies which are soundest and most symmetrical and most beautiful are the nearest like what God means all the bodies of men to be. In like manner when we meet with a human life that is upright and modest and pure and beneficent, based on firm principles of justice and honour, working quietly but energetically for the building up of righteousness, we know that God's will is revealed in such a life as this more perfectly than any words can tell it, more clearly than any flower can show it, more fully than the shapeliest form and the comeliest face can reveal it. And when we go into a home in which love is the law, in which each member of the household seeks to live worthily, and in which all conspire together to seek one another's welfare and happiness, so that the law of the home seems to be, Each for all and all for each — then we are sure that God's will is made known to us in the life of this household; that something like this is what He would have every home to be. And if we should find ourselves in a community where peace, and order, and temperance, and thrift, and industry, and contentment abounded; where there was no squalid poverty, and no filth, breeding pestilence, and no enormous fortunes, and no profligate expenditures of wealth, and no extortionate capitalists who kept themselves wholly aloof from the workpeople by whose labour they were enriched, and cared not, so long as their dividends were undiminished, how fast the labourers were pauperized and brutalized; where there were no eye-servants, that worked only when they were watched, and no discontented, and surly, and suspicious employers; where the law of goodwill had prevailed over the law of supply and demand, making peace where there once was strife, and spreading plenty where there once was poverty — if we ever should find such a community as that we should know of a surety that God's will had found expression in its corporate life; we should say with confidence that every community on earth would be like this community when His will should be done on earth as it is done in heaven.
(Washington Gladden, 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.