Teach Us To Pray Part 5
Your Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven – Matthew 6:5-8
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Oct. 7th, 2018
- This morning we are continuing our series as Jesus teaches us how to pray.
- My hope is that your desire to pray has increased and your understanding as to how we are to pray has improved and guided your prayers.
- We pray, not for a show or with empty words, but to put God, His name, His glory, His kingdom and His will first and foremost in our prayers. We then move to our daily needs, our relationships, our temptations and our protections.
- The line of prayer we are focusing on today is this: “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10 ESV). I think that all of us would agree that praying for “God’s will to be done” is a good prayer because God is a good God, and His will is good and something that we want – or something that we should want. Often, I think we pray that God will bless our will instead of us submitting our will to His. So, the question is, what is God’s will?
- This is a question that I have repeatedly asked in my own life and it is a question that has been asked of me, perhaps more often than any other question. So, when we pray “Your will be done” what are we praying and why do we need to pray this?
- We need to pray this because God’s will is not always done. Even though God is sovereign, His will is not always done (if it was, we would not need to pray that it would be done).
- In order to answer these questions, we need to talk about the will of God: What it is and how it functions. I believe that there are three different categories for the will of God. It is important for you to understand them so you will know why we are to pray for it.
- In the Greek (the original language the bible was written in) there are two main Greek words for “will” translated into English. The word for God’s sovereign decreed will is “boo-lay-ma” and the second word for God’s general, declared will is “thel-ay-ma.” These two words give us the first two categories for “the will of God.”
Decreed will of God
- The “decreed” will of God is when God in His sovereignty causes His will to be done.For example, here are a few passages:
- And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Gen 1:3-4 ESV)
- And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, (Gen 6:13: Gen 7:6 ESV)
- I am the Lord. I have spoken; it shall come to pass; I will do it. I will not go back; I will not spare; I will not relent; according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged, declares the Lord God.” (Ezek 24:14 ESV)
- “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking. (Mark 5:41-42 ESV)
- he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out,
(John 11:43-44 ESV)
- There are other promises and passages – like how Jesus is preparing a place for us and that He will come back etc. These are examples of the decreed will of God – His will that He causes to happen. These are things that we don’t need to pray about because they will happen because He says they will happen. So, when we pray we are not praying about these things which are the decreed will of God.
Declared will of God
- The declared will of God is what He has told us is His will in His word. For example:
- The Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17)
- The Great Commandment (Matt. 22:37-40)
- The Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20)
- New Testament Instructions (Rom 12:9-13, 1 Peter 2:15-17, etc.)
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. (Rom 12:9-13 ESV)
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:15-17ESV)
- These are the general declared and written will of God for everyone everywhere. This is the will of God that can be followed or ignored. This is the will of God that can be violated and is violated every day.
Directive will of God
- The directive will of God is when we are directed by God for us personally. This direction will NEVER be in opposition to either His decreed will or His declared will. Here are a few New Testament examples of His personal directive will:
- And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. (Matt 2:12 ESV)
- An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him. (Matt 2:13 ESV)
- Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (Acts 8:26 ESV)
- 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 had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. (Acts 16:9-10 ESV)
- God can and does on occasion direct us as to His personal will. Again, this will never violate His decreed and declared will. (Often, we are fixated on this – always go with the general declared will of God unless you have a personal directive that has been discerned and confirmed). And this also can be obeyed or ignored.
Desired will of God
- This is the will that God desires to happen – it is a statement of the will and His heart.For example:
- For the Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place. (Ps 132:13 ESV)
- I desire mercy, and not sacrifice. (Matt 9:13 ESV)
- The desires of the Spirit are against the flesh. (Gal 5:17 ESV)
- The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9-10 ESV)
- These are the things that the Lord desires, however they may not and in some cases will not be fulfilled.
Conclusion and application
- Let’s put this all together. When we pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” we are praying that the declared and the directive will of God (which is done completely in heaven) happens on the earth during this age as well. We are praying that we and others would align our lives with God’s will and not seek to have Him align His will to our lives. It is an acknowledgement that God is sovereign over us and a prayer that we and others would follow and obey Him.
- This indeed will also include suffering and persecution (Luke 22: 39-44, 2 Tim. 3:12)
- This is to be discerned by the renewal of our mind through the word of God (Rom. 12:2), the spirit (1 Cor. 2:11-14), knowledge (Phil. 1:9-11), practice and prayer (Heb. 5:14).