Matthew 6:10, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

In Matthew 6:9 Jesus taught His disciples that prayer is God-centered. Prayer is offered to our Father who reigns from heaven, and we come to our Father to honor Him.

Jesus continues this theme in verse 10. Another way prayer honors God is to submit to His will. Prayer is not ultimately about presenting our laundry list of needs to God but bowing before Him in humility asking that His will be done.

The verse breaks down into three parts.

Your Kingdom Come. With Jesus’ first coming the Kingdom of God was inaugurated (Luke 17:21). But there is a sense in which God’s kingdom is yet to come. His children wait and long for it, therefore, we pray for it to come. Our desire is that the rule and reign of God would be everywhere. One day all God’s people will be in His place living under His word and experiencing His blessings face-to-face.

But that is not where we live today. Now we experience pain and hardship. God is the King, and He rules over His people, but there are still many rebels on this earth. One day Jesus will come again and setup His kingdom on earth and sin and the rebels will be dealt with, and we will live with Him forever.

So, we pray. We pray for this kingdom to come. We submit our will knowing that His kingdom coming is more important and better than anything we could plan or ever dream of which may tempt us to want this coming kingdom to be delayed.

Your Will be Done. Where God reigns, His will is done. There are two dimensions here.

First, we want God’s will to be done in our lives. As individual children of God, we desire to be in God’s will and to do what is pleasing to Him.

Second, we want to see God’s will done everywhere. We see what happens when people do not live in God’s will and it is not pretty. The children of God desire that His will be done in everything.

Jesus is a great example of this in the garden the night before He was crucified. Jesus prayed that the cup would pass from Him but submitted to God’s will. Jesus shows us that our desire in prayer should be to be in line with God’s will and ask Him to work for His glory.

On Earth, as it is in Heaven. The last part is asking God that His will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Have you ever thought about how God’s will is accomplished in heaven? Is there any rebellion in heaven? God’s will is always done in heaven. Our petition to God is that the same would happen on the earth.

This is connected to asking God for His kingdom to come. When God is reigning on the earth His will will be done. When He rules and His throne is with us, there will be no sin and no rebellion.

A question comes to mind when I think about this verse. If I am to ask for God’s will to be done how am I supposed to ask God about things I am not sure is His will?

This is tough for many people. There are two extremes you could go with prayer. One is, and this is probably the most common, is to turn our prayer time into a running list of things we ask God for. The other extreme is we are so cautious about not wanting to ask for anything that is out of God’s will that we do not ask God for anything.

Jesus is teaching us the proper attitude we need in our prayers, reverence, and humility. We understand that God’s will is going to be accomplished and as His children, we want to live in His will. When we ask God about something that He has not clearly revealed in His word we must be humble.

We do not get to demand anything from God. We submit to Him He does not submit to us. Therefore, if we are not willing to pray about something with open hands, a willingness to allow God to knock it out or take it away, then we should be careful, and better yet we probably should not ask God.

J.I. Packer helped me immensely on this point. He suggested using the phrase God, I think it best, but ultimately, I want your will done and you to get the glory. God has not revealed to us in His word who we will marry one day or which job we should take. But God has told us what is most important about who we will marry is they love God and they have Christ-like character. In those instances, we need to ask God humbly for what we want acknowledging that His will is always best and will be the means He uses to make us more like Jesus.

Praying the way Jesus outlines here will expand our view of what God is doing in the world and what He wants to accomplish. It is not about my small dreams or items I need to ask God, but it is about His will being done everywhere. The prayer, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” will always be answered because this brings God the most glory. This is a God-centered prayer.