“In the third request (your will be done on earth as it is in heaven) we pray that by His grace God would make us have the capability and the will to know, obey, and submit to His will in everything as the angels do in heaven.” – Shorter Catechism Q.103
When I feel the brokenness of this world, I spontaneously cry out that God’s will would be done. I have no hesitation in my desire for God’s will. But in times when my will differs from what he permits, I ask that the grace of Jesus would weaken my resistance to his will, and that I would learn to know, submit, accept, and do what he wants.
Only a growing hope in the wisdom, love, and goodness of Jesus can enable me to surrender my rights and my selfish life designs. In this petition, God is transforming me to value his priorities for worship, justice, service, and mercy.
To be honest, this phrase (your will be done) is the one I am most resistant to pray for. I resist giving up control of my selfish desires and plans for success and pleasure. I tend to pray that God would make life go the way I want it to and in the timing I want things to happen.
I often fail to trust that God’s will is best and lack motivation to obey like the angels in heaven. My tendency is to be absorbed in my ambitions to get ahead on earth, and ask God to remove any obstacles to my plans. I often avoid caring for, praying for, or giving to those who suffer.
In this petition, God is transforming me to value his priorities for worship, justice, service, and mercy.Corey Porter
Here Jesus leads me to pray for, give to, and serve any who suffer many afflictions: poverty, injustice, inequality, sexual exploitation, mental illness, violence, war, famine, illness, addictions, and more.
We pray for God to humble, restrain, and change the hearts of those who oppress others. We pray that God would frustrate and allow the failure of evil plans. Ultimately we pray that God would convict those who oppress others and that they would turn in humility to Jesus and learn to serve others.
Jesus leads me in prayers for energy, strength, protection, and wisdom for those who advocate for the weak and oppressed. For God’s sake, may they patiently and joyously serve through all evil and adversity that comes on them. Protect your people from rage, fury, hate, threats, and evil desires to do harm.
These verses in the Bible demonstrate God’s love and care for the weak:
He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. (Deuteronomy 10:18)
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows, is God in his holy habitation. (Psalm 68:5)
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted. You consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. (Psalm 10:14)
Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. (Psalm 82:3)
The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. (Psalm 146:9)
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
When we pray “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” we pray for our attitudes and priorities to be shaped by what God prioritizes and wants done.
Please pray for students to desire God’s will above their own. Pray that they would grow in their faith in the wisdom, love, and goodness of God. Pray that no matter the difficult circumstances that come their way, they would know, submit to, and accept God’s will for their lives as they serve.
Written by Corey Porter.
Haven’t read the earlier parts of this series? You can catch up:
- The Lord’s Prayer: Learning to worship God in my prayers.
- Our Father in heaven
- Hallowed be your name
- Your kingdom come
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