How His will can be done

The Lord’s Prayer contains so many thoughts that there is not enough time to cover them all in a single divine service. The Chief Apostle gave some tips for faith in daily life in a divine service in Angola, and in so doing shed some new light on a well-known part of the service.

The annual motto—“Prayer works”—was also referenced in a divine service conducted by the Chief Apostle on 4 May 2024 in Cuando Cubango, Angola. A prayer that comes from Jesus—namely the Lord’s Prayer—will always have its effect. “However, we must also pray it in the mind of Jesus,” emphasised Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider. “In other words, we not only say the words that Jesus Christ taught, but also pray these words in the mind and spirit of Jesus.” To this end, the divine service focused on a specific statement from this prayer, namely: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6: 10b).

The statement may sound confusing at first. After all, why do we have to ask for God’s will to be done if God is almighty and if He always does precisely what He pleases?” But when we say “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” we are actually telling God: we want to do your will as it is done in heaven. We want to be in complete agreement with Your will and do it exactly as we are supposed to do it.”

Knowing the will of God

In so doing it is important to know the will of God in the first place. And this divine will is revealed by Jesus Christ. “In order to know the will of God, all we need to do is see and hear what Jesus taught and did.” Through His walk and conduct on earth, Jesus revealed the will of God:

  • “God wants all human beings to be saved.
  • “He wants you and me to be with Him forever in the kingdom of heaven.”
  • “Believing means: it is true for me even if I cannot see it. Believing in Jesus means trusting in Him even if the reality looks completely different.”
  • “We are not supposed to follow God for the sake of interest or because we are afraid of some sort of punishment. Rather, we are to follow God because He loves us and we love Him.”
  • “We are to treat our neighbours in the same way that we wish to be treated by them. Jesus goes even further and tells His disciples that they are to love one another as He loves them.”

Agreeing with the will of God

“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”—“By speaking these words we attest that we are in agreement with the divine will,” said the Chief Apostle. Therefore, we also agree that

  • the salvation for which we strive consists of perfect fellowship with God in His kingdom: salvation is in heaven, not on earth.”
  • we believe in God: “Believing means: I believe it even if I cannot see it. Believing means: I trust God even when I do not understand.”
  • we also want our neighbour to be saved. “Jesus told us that He did not come to punish sinners, but to save them. And now we pray: ‘Dear God, let Your will be done! We agree that You should not punish the sinners, but rather save them.”

Doing the will of God

“But it goes further than that,” continued the Chief Apostle. “Your will be done” also means that I must do You’re the will of God if it is indeed to be done. Therefore I am not only in agreement with His will, but I also want to do it!” In specific terms, this means:

  • not only talking, but taking action: “We cannot merely say, ‘Dear God, we are in agreement with Your will.’—We must actually do something, otherwise our prayer will have no effect at all. It will be nothing but empty words in that case.”
  • being determined: “This does not mean that we no longer have any will of our own, and that we are merely like puppets on a string—no! This is now our decision, our firm resolution: we want to do the will of God.”
  • setting priorities: The most important thing to me is my salvation. I want to be with Jesus! I follow God, and I obey His commandment. That is my priority in every situation.”
  • following unconditionally: “Yes indeed, I want to love God even when He does not fulfil my wishes. I will continue to follow Him and serve Him because I love Him. Those who think and act in this manner are doing the will of God. They follow Jesus and serve Him out of love, not for the sake of any particular interest, nor out of fear, nor for any other reason other than love.”
  • helping others to attain salvation: “Those who do His will always have this thought in their hearts: no matter what happens, no matter how my neighbour behaves, I will do my part to help him find Christ and follow Him—through me.”

Asking God for help in order to do His will

And because this is not always so easy, we ask God for His help. “Your will be done” also means: “Dear God, help me to know and recognise Your will. Give me the wisdom to agree with Your will, and give me the strength to do Your will.”

The Chief Apostle assigned special value to the fact that the Lord’s Prayer is a collective prayer. “At times there are disagreements and even disputes in the congregation. Problems come up. However, then we come together and pray together: “Your will be done”. The solution is to do the will of God. The Lord’s Prayer is the “foundation of the unity of the members and the congregation. Our personalities are diverse and our lives are indeed different, however, we are all agreed that we want to do the will of God.”

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