Where Is 'Thy Will Be Done’ in the Bible?
God’s will is discussed many places in the Bible, far too many to address all of them here. However, the phrase “thy will be done” is most notably found in what has come to be called the Lord’s Prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4. In these passages, Jesus teaches how to pray. Matthew 6:10 specifically holds the phrase in question: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
However, many of us better recognize the passage as translated in the King James Version: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
What Does ‘Thy Will Be Done’ Mean?
To pray “thy will be done” is to ask God to do what He desires.
That seems a bit strange at first. God is God. Of course, He will do what He desires. But there’s a bit more to it.
There are some things that God desires but will not force upon us. For example, it’s His will that we do not commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t murder, etc., as outlined in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20), and that we love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31).
But we have the free will to do as we please, and often, we do the exact opposite.
When we say, “Thy will be done,” what we’re asking is that things come to align with His will—that righteousness would increase, justice be done, and the kingdom of God advance. Note that in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus says, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Just as the heavens are filled with joy and wholeness and the angels do exactly as God wills, we pray that the earth would be the same way.
Another aspect of saying “thy will be done” is offering a declaration of trust. There is nothing defeatist about saying “thy will be done.” Instead, it is an active choice to trust in God’s knowledge and goodness.
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus knew what he wanted. He wanted to be spared from the agony of the cross. However, he acknowledged that the Father knew best.
He asked that the Father’s will be done, whether that was to spare him or to send him to the cross.
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