Question 103: What do we pray for in the third petition?Answer: In the third petition, which is, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven," we pray, That God, by his grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to his will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.
When we pray, we should not pray for our will, but for God’s will, as the Lord Jesus Christ did during the night preceding his suffering and death. Jesus prayed to the Father God: “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Lk. 22:42) We should petition God, not for our will, but for his will to be done.
All are saved by the grace of God alone, through faith, in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Of ourselves we can do nothing good. The apostle Paul wrote: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.” (Rom. 7:18) Therefore, we must pray for God, by his grace, would enable us to willing know, obey, and submit to his will in all things, just as is done in heaven.
In the first petition, we ask for God to enable us to glorify his name. In the second petition we pray for the Kingdom of God to come. In the third petition we pray for God to enable us as citizens of the Kingdom of God to think, speak and do what he wills. I am not able in my flesh to do the will of God, because I am by nature selfish. I must pray for the Spirit to enable me to do all that God wills. Not our will, but God’s will be done.
Your Servant for Jesus’ Sake