“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
When Jesus’ disciples ask him to teach them how to pray, he teaches them what we often call “the Lord’s Prayer.” In just a few short verses, he offers a deeply meaningful prayer that we could spend all day unpacking. For now, we’ll just focus on this verse.
Here, Jesus asks God for two things. He asks that God’s kingdom would come to earth and that his will would be done on earth just as it is in heaven. In a lot of ways, these two things are one in the same. The truth is that sometimes the will of God is not done because the world is full of sinners. The world is full of people that don’t know the will of God, and even among those that do it is often not done.
What Jesus is really asking here is not that everyone on earth would somehow become perfect immediately and that they would all do the will of God without flaw. What he’s asking is that we would each individually recognize the sovereignty of God, welcome his kingdom, and realize that God is in control.
If God is in control, why isn’t his will already being done? That’s a fair question. Of course, in the end, God knows all things and is able to work good from all things, but that doesn’t mean that he will take anyone’s free will and make them do his bidding. That’s not how God operates. He wants us to follow and obey him out of love and trust rather than force. So Jesus’ prayer turns out to be more of a petition that God’s people would welcome and usher God’s kingdom into the earth, and that the citizens of that kingdom would discern and do the will of God. From there, the earth begins to look more and more like heaven.
That should be our goal. Bring God’s kingdom to earth so that, as much as it can, the earth begins to look more and more like heaven where the will of God is done perfectly.
May your kingdom come and may your will be done. Help us to live these words and usher your kingdom into our lives and the world around us.
In Jesus’ Name,