The prayer which starts “Our Father in Heaven” is famous. It is known as “the Lord’s prayer”, because Jesus taught it to his disciples. It contains the request “Your will be done”.
God’s will is done by angels in heaven. They never displease Him. So this begs the question. Is God’s will done here on earth?
God is all-powerful and nothing can ever thwart His plans. He oversees what is happening; He can and does control world events. If God decrees that something must happen then it does happen. So at one level His will is done.
Nonetheless despite this, and in a way that we cannot begin to fully grasp, we do have free will to make decisions and life choices. We are not programmed robots. We can influence our destiny. And so we can also mess up, and we have messed up in a big way. Consequently, here on earth it is very different from heaven: there is injustice and ungodliness. God is not pleased with the way we are. We do not do His will.
So why did Jesus tell his disciples to pray in this way?
This unhappy state of affairs will not last for ever. God has a plan for the earth. And when this comes to fruition the change will be radical: the most life-changing event ever. This is the establishment of God’s kingdom here on earth. And so in the prayer the disciples were told to pray for that.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earthLuke 11:2
The two ideas are linked inextricably. The one cannot happen without the other. And neither of these things has happened fully yet.
There is another petition in the prayer:
And forgive us our sinsLuke 11:4
‘Sin’ is an old-fashioned and unpalatable word. It is the basic, fundamental problem with us and with our world. But God offers to forgive us and promises a time when sin and death itself will be abolished. Then the earth will be full of His glory, and His will done on earth.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain. For the former things have passed awayRevelation 21:4
If we want to live for ever in this amazing world we need to respond now. While we cannot attain perfection in this life we can try to do God’s will. And if we do this then God will forgive our sins, and give us eternal life to obey Him for ever, as angels do now.