Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)
Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
[10] Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
[11] Give us this day our daily bread,
[12] and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
[13] And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

By nature our wills are diametrically opposed to God’s. God says “Worship me only” but by nature we want to be worshipped. We want to be in first place. We want to get the credit for every good thing that happens. We want to be proved right and we want others to know it and bow at our feet. And for us to pray that God’s will be done is to believe that it is better for His will to be done than for anything to happen to us that is not His will. This prayer is an acknowledgement that we sometimes/often want the wrong things.

How does God get His will done in the world?

This is a prayer that God use even the evil in the world to bring about His perfect will. God can use everything. The evil deeds of evil rulers will be orchestrated to bring about the will of God, eventually.

But this is  a prayer that we do His will. God uses the faithful obedience of His children. For a child of God to pray “Do your will” is for that child to commit himself to doing the will of God in his own life. “O Lord, get your will done”, the believer prays. And God says, “About time. Here is what I want you to do”. Jesus commanded that we pray like this. It must be prayed from the heart. As believers we have no choice. We should desire God’s will, pray for God’s will, know God’s will and above all – be doing what we know to be God’s will. But , someone says, “I do not know God’s will”. Well then, it is your duty to find out, because God calls you to do it. But know this. God directs those who are already moving.

Acts 16:6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. 8 So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 And when Paul[a] had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Could God have given that vision before Paul and his companions tried to get into Bithynia and Asia? Of course. But He didn’t, did He? Why not? Because God uses people who are already living out their faith. We want to know so much about the will of God. Well, are you labouring to accomplish what you know His will is already?

Where do we find God’s will mapped out for us? In the Scriptures. This is a prayer for God do according to the Scriptures. This is a prayer that we know the Scriptures and handle them properly and live them out consistently. You pray for God’s will to be done and then not open your Bible and study it with others and discuss it and pray it in and see how it applies to you in your daily life and the life of this church, then you are praying hypocritically.

This is a prayer for obedience to the prescribed will of God that is mapped out for us in the Scriptures. It is to pray for God’s will to be done in the matter of our sexuality, our entertainment choices, the way we worship, how we respond to those who sin against us, how we respond to our own sin etc.

On earth as it is in heaven

We pray here that we will obey completely and heartily and immediately. There was disobedience in heaven once and those who committed it were cast out. God’s will in heaven is perfect. This is a prayer that we grow in obedience, that we be satisfied with nothing short of full obedience and agreement with the revealed will of God as found in the Scriptures.

This is a prayer that God do His will through us, through His people. Through the church of which we are a part.