by Doy Moyer
We pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). When we pray this, we are also praying that God’s kingdom, God’s rule, “come” not in the sense of Acts 2 or even in the sense of judgment, though both manifest His kingdom; rather, we are praying that the rule of God has its impact on the earth in such a way that more of God’s will is being accomplished and realized.
We need to understand that we are part of making God’s will on earth happen. We are not passive observers to the will of God, but active participants in carrying out God’s will as He works through us (cf. Philippians 2:12-13). As we submit to the Lord and carry out His will as lights in this world, God’s kingdom is having its effect. God’s will is being done and the prayer is being answered.
Our role in this is, I believe, a significant aspect of what it means to be made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-30). The immediate context of Genesis shows that God’s image-bearers are to have dominion over the earth. Later, we know that God’s people are meant to rule with Him (cf. Revelation 5:9-10). God is the King, and there is none like Him, but He made humanity to represent Him as kings on the earth bearing His image. As we do this, we are to be living out His will, spreading it to others, showing forth God’s character in our lives (“be holy”), and actively living the story of the kingdom.
When we pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we are to act in His name. As vital as prayer is, don’t just pray it, but do it. Be it.
We have lots of work to do, don’t we?