This week we look at the Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer. It reads, “Thy will be done.” And Luther’s explanation is, “The good and gracious will of God is surely done without our prayer, but we ask in this prayer that is may be done also among us.” The he goes on to describe when this takes place. “God’s will is done when he hinders and defeats every evil scheme and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful self, which would prevent us from keeping his name holy and would oppose the coming of his kingdom. And his will is done when he strengthens our faith and keeps us firm in his Word as long as we live. This is his gracious and good will.”
Perhaps I should begin by saying something about a person’s “will”. When we speak of our will, we are talking about our determination, desire, wish, or choice. There is a big difference between our human will and the Lord’s will. We cannot always accomplish the things we determine or desire. Things are different with our Lord. Another important difference between our human will and the Divine will, especially after the sin of Adam and Eve, is that our desires are self-centered, twisted, and evil. God’s will is always good and gracious. In fact in theological terms, apart from grace, our wills are in bondage to sin, death, and the devil.
Our being joined to Christ in Baptism begins the liberation of our wills from bondage. The new birth given in Baptism actually creates within us a desire for the good things of God. But this new nature is battled against by our old sinful nature along with the devil and the world.
And so we are taught and commanded to pray, essentially, that our wills would conform to God’s will. And this happens as we allow the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, especially as he keeps us firm in God’s Word! Truly we live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God!
Since You Asked…
Why is the Triune Name of God repeated so frequently in our worship services?
The mystery of the Trinity is one of the most distinctive elements of our Christian Tradition. Christianity is not alone in claiming to be monotheistic (belief in one Supreme Being, one god). But Christianity holds that this One, True God has revealed himself to us as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Scripture teaches that God the Father has revealed himself through God the Son and in God the Spirit. Only the Son can be seen, and only through the Spirit are we enabled to believe in the Father and the Son. And so we often invoke the name of the Triune God in the mystery of our faith.