Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Thy Will be Done

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The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13) is the central part of the Sermon on the Mount. It is located right in the middle of this amazing sermon, but more than this it seems to capture the gist of everything Jesus is saying. It is the heart of His message. The things within the prayer are related in different ways. There is a relation between God’s name being hallowed and the coming of the kingdom of God. Just as there is a relationship between the coming of the kingdom and God’s will being done “on earth as it is in heaven.” The prayer is directed toward “Our Father in heaven.” He is the one who provides our daily sustenance (vs. 11). These are just a few ways in which various parts of the prayer are related, but one of the most intriguing connections in the prayer is the one between God’s will and forgiveness.

We are to pray for God’s will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” God is working towards this, but He expects us to join His cause. How do we work towards God’s will being done in our neighborhoods, schools, jobs, communities, and towns? God’s will is a broad term. It means many things that are described throughout the entire Bible, but the one found in the context of the prayer is forgiveness. Forgiveness is so serious that the forgiveness God gives to us is directly related to our forgiving others. When we forgive we are doing God’s will. When we practice forgiveness we are imitating our heavenly Father.

It is obvious that in many places God’s will is not being done on earth. The outbreak of war is constant. People are continually killing other people. America is a war free zone, but our cities are riddled with violence and our Supreme Court has allowed the killing of thousands of unborn children. People around the world go hungry because they do not have enough food to eat. In Africa children are born with terrible diseases like AIDS. Human trafficking is a booming business. Slavery is not a thing of the past and in many places it has simply went underground. All around us people live in fear when the Bible says we should all live by faith. We are a people of unclean lips and we live among a people of unclean lips. In many ways God’s will is not being done, so what are we to do?

Pray – Thankfully, it is not all up to us. Jesus has given us this prayer (Matt. 6:9-11), a prayer that is at the heart of the Sermon on the Mount. When it is given in Luke Jesus says “When you pray, say…” This is something Jesus commanded that we do and it is something the early church practiced. We need to pray the Lord’s Prayer, and we need to pray that God’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven.”

Forgive – Again, there are many things that make up God’s will, but there is something about forgiveness that has the power to bring about real change in our world. Forgiveness is the way of Jesus. When people spat in His face, called Him names, and beat Him with a whip He did not retaliate. He forgave. When someone yells at us we can try and yell louder, but this typically doesn’t lead anywhere. No one is changed and both sides become entrenched in their positions, but when we forgive this gets people’s attention. Forgiveness catches people off guard and causes them to think. Forgiveness is powerful. It is what God does for us. It is what Jesus did on the cross, and it is what we are to practice on earth.

Our Father who art in heaven ,hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

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