Blog Entry
The Lord's Prayer

Third Petition Bible Study

May 12, 2018

The Third Petition

 The Third Petition:  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 What does this mean?  The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.

 How is God’s will done?  God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God’s name or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His Word and faith until we die. This is His good and gracious will.

 The Central Thought:  Christians have always encountered obstacles when bringing the Gospel to the world. What obstacles do you see in the world today that hinder the spread of the Gospel or keep people from knowing Jesus?

 Read Matthew 26:36–56:  What obstacles did Jesus face on His journey to the cross?   As Christians, we pray here that God would not allow any obstacle to stand in the way of His gracious will—namely, that His Word and kingdom be extended.   What things in my life threaten to pull me away from the Word of God?

 What is the will of God?

Answer:  God’s will is that all people come to know Him as their Father and live under the rule of His Son. This petition is closely related to the petitions that His name be hallowed and His kingdom come.

  • Ezekiel 18:23  Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
  • John 6:40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
  • 1 Timothy 2:4 [God] desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification.

 What is the specific focus of this petition?

Answer:  We ask that God, in keeping with His will, would never allow Satan, the world, and our sinful flesh to take God’s name and faith from us.

  • 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
  • 1 John 2:15–17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
  • Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

 How does God Help us Keep/Do His Will?

  1. God restrains Satan (“breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose”).
    • Psalm 23:4–5 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
    • 1 Peter 1:5 By God’s power [you] are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
    • 2 Thessalonians 3:3 The Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
  2. God strengthens us with His Word so that we can endure the sufferings that will come.
  • Romans 8:28 We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.
  • 1 Peter 2:20–21 But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.

 When will Satan’s defeat be complete?

  1. Christ has already defeated Satan by means of His life, death, and resurrection.
    • 1 John 3:8  Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
  2. God has promised that Satan will be banished forever and, with that, death will be put to death and our sinful nature stripped away.
  • Romans 16:20  The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
  • 1 John 3:2  Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:50–53  I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

 What is God’s will for my life?

Answer?  God wants me

A. to become and remain His child through faith in Jesus;

B. to live as His adopted child according to His Word and bear witness to Christ;

C. to resist the devil and all that would prevent these things.

Should I be anxious about discerning God’s precise will in my daily decisions?

Answer:  God has given clear commands about many matters of daily life (Ten Commandments). However, God also leaves many other daily decisions up to us (what to eat, where to go to school, what kind of car to purchase, and so on). We need not worry about trying to discern God’s precise will when making these kinds of decisions, for we know that we live under His fatherly care.

 How can I make good decisions as a Christian about everyday matters?

A. God gives me freedom to make my own decisions in everyday matters.  He has provided the Ten Commandments to guide my decision-making.  He also invites me to pray for wisdom in choosing the best course of action according to His Word.

B. In making decisions, I can also consider the many gifts that God has provided me in my everyday life: my specific callings (see Table of Duties), my abilities and interests, the needs of those around me, the opportunities He has laid before me, and the counsel and wisdom of others.

C. Finally, I can pray for God’s blessing on my decisions, knowing full well that I daily sin much and can never completely avoid sin in this life. I live each day in the forgiveness of sins in Jesus, knowing that my God is a God of blessing who promises to work all things for my ultimate good. 

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