Sermon Notes

The Lord’s Prayer (Part 4 – Your will be done)


  • As we journey through the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6, I hope that you are able to see, as I see, just how impossible a prayer this is for the unbeliever. The only way that an unbeliever, or a false-convert (someone who believes they are saved when they are not), a nominal Christian, or an immature Christian, can pray this prayer as a recital, is by completely missing the meaning of each phrase that has a cataclysmic impact upon the universe.

With one acknowledgment and six petitions, this prayer is meant as the pattern that all our prayers are supposed to fit. Now, when I say cataclysmic impact upon the universe, I’m not joking. Think about it.

  • God is the divine Being whose thought keeps the universe from crumbling into dust. It is more frightful to behold a God without whom the universe would cave into itself than a god who can merely destroy it. The life in Him supplies the life in all created things.Now in all of creation, from the microbes in the dust of the earth to the star beyond our known galaxies, whose light has yet to reach the earth, and beyond, only the Christian gets to utter the words – Our Father!And this God hears our prayers!
  • Moses went into the tent of meeting to pray, and the cloud descended
  • Joshua prayed and the sun stoppedCataclysmic Impact? You can’t even start to pray in this manner, in this pattern of the Lord’s prayer without knowing your Father in heaven – without truly being His child.
  • First petition. Hallowed be Your Name!
    That the greatest desire in the heart of a Christian is the glory of their Father’s name. That is not manipulatable by force. It must be believed in the heart. Only the Holy Spirit can work that.So, a child of God, praying to their Father God – make Your Name Holy!Cataclysmic Impact? Beloved, the universe is silenced at the sound of your prayer.
    Romans 8:1919 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
  • Second petition. Your kingdom come!
    That the second petition is a desire to see the reign and rule of Christ more and more realised in the world. That this kingdom, an already, yet not already, kingdom – come!We saw last week how this petition, is a cry for God’s ultimate kingdom to come but is also as much a cry for the kingdom of God to be built in this world that we live in.Cataclysmic Impact?
    I mentioned last week how this phrase ‘Your kingdom come’ has an eschatological (theology of the end times) connotation to it. And I told you how any eschatology can be classified into a pessimistic or an optimistic view of the future of this world.
    Luke 10:17-2017 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.Although I personally have not come to a position on the end times, one thing that I do recognise is that, if I look at the world, I am drawn to be a pessimist, but if look at the word of God, I cannot help but be an optimist.Oh, I would dare anyone to show me one demon who would not tremble at the sight of a praying Christian, especially one who strive in prayer and life to see his Father’s kingdom come.
    This pattern of the Lord’s prayer does not start on a low key and then build up in its force. Instead, it starts with a bang! A glorious acknowledgment followed by earth-shattering requests for God’s divine glory to be revealed.


  • However, only a fool would think that in such powerful standing or communion with God, that he/she is powerful in themselves. Many fools have believed in such folly over the centuries. From Eli’s wicked sons, to king Saul, to the Pharisees and scribes, to Hymenaeus and Alexander whom Paul handed over to Satan, to Joel Osteen and Paula White; all of them fail to see the God of the Bible.
  • For in all this glorious standing and cataclysmic effect of prayer, here comes the third petition.
  • Matthew 6:10your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
  • Let me come out and tell you beloved that none of us want this in our flesh. As creatures who sin, our flesh is constantly in the business of wanting to do our human will.
    So much of our petitions are structured in a way that what we are actually saying is, “Lord, let your will be to do my will, and let that will be done.”So, the first thing that we must recognise in studying this third petition is that we are not in our flesh desiring of God’s will. Only a true believer, born-again in his/her spirit and in-dwelt with the Holy Spirit can truly pray such a prayer.Imagine what happens to all your petitions when you make this one.
    [Healing? Depression? Suffering? Cancer? Job? Family? Thorn in the flesh?] •
  • Now, the will of God is one of those strange mysteries that seems to have so many Christians baffled? We are so often confused as to what the will of the Lord is.Is it the Lord’s will that I pursue this marriage proposal?
    Is it the Lord’s will that I go for higher studies, or should I get a
    job? What is the Lord’s will in this suffering that I am going through?
    One of the pivotal aids in understanding God’s will is that we can identify two kinds of God’s willing when we read the Bible.

    • The first is what we call the decretive will or the will of decree. Theologians also refer to it as the sovereign will or the efficient will, or the secret will. This is that category of God’s will that is His decree. It must and will come to pass according to God’s divine decree.


Daniel 4:34-35 34 I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; 

35  all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and she does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

Romans 9:19-2019 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 

For a lot of people, this is what the will of God basically means. But then they also recognise that sometimes God’s will can be broken. For example, we know that it is the will of God that we should not lie. Yet, we break it so often.

Therefore, if you believe that the will of God is always His divine decree, then you begin to see yourself as someone who can get in the way of God’s will. And on the other hand, the same people take many decisions in life, big and small, without due thought or reason, because they’ve prayed for God’s will to happen and so if it happens, then believe it is His will.

Do you see the contradiction there? If you believe God’s will is always His divine decree, and that you’re able to break that decree, then how can you know in deciding such things that you’ve not broken His will?

  • That is why it is important to recognise that there is a second kind of will that God displays which is what we call the prescriptive will or the will of command. It is also referred to by theologians as the moral will, or the permissive will, or the revealed will. These refer to God’s “preferred-will,” i.e. His “best-offer” to people who can be accepted or rejected. To put it plainly, it is God’s desire in display.Therefore, when we make decisions in life, and we are concerned about knowing the will of God, we are almost always talking about this second kind of will. God’s will of decree is one that you or I can’t stop or force it to happen in our time.
    [All ye believers] – Your salvation is a divine decree by God. He predestined you before the foundations of the earth.
    [All ye single people] – I do not believe that your choice of a spouse generally falls in the purview of God’s decretive will, but His prescriptive will. This will entirely change how you pursue a godly spouse when you realise that you can go against God’s good desire for you in whom you marry.

    • The interesting thing is that the Greek word used for God’s will, here in the Lord’s prayer, is that it pertains to His prescriptive will, rather than His will of decree.
      Now, for me, that’s a monumental shift in perspective.
      Because when I make this third petition, I am not primarily saying that God’s sovereign decree comes to pass, but that God’s desire, His will of command that He has made known to us, come to pass through the obedience of His people.
      It is praying, “O Lord help! Let your will, Your heart’s desire for Your people, to live in a manner that is pleasing to You, be fulfilled through the obedience of Your servants.
  • This last thought is given more thrust by the words “on earth, as it is in heaven. Because God’s divine decree is all worlds encompassing. However, only in heaven do we see a perfect display of obedience to God.
    • Now, this phrase is also highly eschatological. The fulfillment of this petition will only be completed in what we call the new heavens and the new earth.
      Revelation 21:33 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
      Revelation 22:3-43 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
    • So, this kind of desire for God’s desire, for His prescriptive will, if meant from the heart of the person who prays, it will affect all their other petitions. Although we are willing to submit joyfully to the sovereign will of God, are we willing to submit joyfully in obedience to God’s commandments? Or will we compromise?
  • This end that we await is the end of this passing world of sin, and the beginning of an eternity of glory, a time when His will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
    Revelation 21:44 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
    • So, this kind of desire for God’s desire, for His prescriptive will, if meant from the heart of the person who prays, will affect all their other petitions. Although we are willing to submit joyfully to the sovereign will of God, are we willing to submit joyfully in obedience to God’s commandments? Or will we compromise?
      [Food fights, movies we watch, friends we keep, jobs we take, etc]
      Therefore, we must understand the impact this petition has on the way we live our lives. In the way, we pray. We are calling on God to equip us, strengthen us, motivate us, urge us, to live obediently. Let Your will, and not mine, be done. It’s a constant realisation that the Christian life is not about what we want, but about what He wants.
      As John MacArthur points out, “thinking “What will be will be” absolutely destroys faithful prayer and faithful obedience of every sort.
    • Our prayers are meant to fit the pattern of wanting not God to will what we want, but that we may will God’s will. That our desires may be one with what God desires.The final takeaway from this petition that I find is that God intends for His will of desire, be fulfilled through the prayers of His saints. Do you want to be more godly and obedient? Do you want to see your children walk in the way of God? Do you want your family to serve God in all things? Do you want to see Redemption Hill Church be a bright and shining light of truth and Gospel? Pray for the will of God!Ephesians 5:15-21 – 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.Hebrews 13:20-2120 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.


  • Beloved, let us have no hesitation in praying this petition out of any petty desire to want our will to be done. Instead let us pray this petition in reverence and honor, knowing that it is such a prayer that led to our salvation. This petition is what saved us!
  • Matthew 26:3939 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”Not, this would come to pass whether Jesus drinks it or not, but that this would come about only through Christ’s obedience. As we read in Philippians 2:8, Jesus was obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.


Michael Teddy Fernandez

Author Michael Teddy Fernandez

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