When the average Christian hears Jesus teaching them to pray, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” they face the greatest battle they will ever experience. It is the battle of the two greatest will in the whole wide world: Fathers, and ours.
More precisely, there is a battle between the will of the divine Father and the will of the sarky child (that would be us).
Now, along with pastoring our home church I also help my wife with our in-home family daycare. I can tell you that I have been part of many skirmishes of the will. From a very young age our precious little ones seek to exert their wills over ours. What begins with waking us up at any time of the night because they only know one thing, what they need, turns into temper tantrums, pouting, crying, the evil eye, because parents or care-givers are not letting them have their way.
Contemporary Christianity, at least of the North American variety, allows for so many options in church experiences that it is easy for anyone to find a church gathering that fits their sarky little wills and lets them do church however it fits whatever else they are doing.
This means that, teaching someone caught up in stereotypical church culture to start praying, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” is likely going to be the most culture violating experience of their lives. It will expose how many things they have buried under layers of superficial activity. It will uncover how much of their activities are just religious behavior on a foundation of sark-dependence. And it will likely produce conflict between their genuine desire to begin seeking Father’s will in everything (as it is done in heaven) and the desires of other church folk who want to maintain a church life in which they can do their own will in how much they appear to do God’s will.
Obviously, since our Father in heaven knows best, the best thing we can do for our lives and churches is not only pray, “your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” but devote ourselves to working out our own salvation with fear and trembling because we know our heavenly Father is working in us to both will and to do his good pleasure.
And, also obviously, if what we get in life is what most pleases God our heavenly Father, nothing else could ever be better than that.
Join our home church as we learn to both pray, “Our Father in heaven, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” and learn how to join him in the answers to our prayers.
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)
 Matthew 6:11 in the context of Matthew 6:9-13 which is Jesus’ teaching his disciples how to pray.
 I use “sark”, the transliteration of the Greek word, “σαρκ”, which is translated in English Bibles as, “flesh”. It is that part of us that operates independent of God, and, as Paul describes so thoroughly in Romans 7:1-25, it is totally unable to do the good we want to do, and it can’t stop doing the bad we don’t want to do. Thankfully, Romans 8:1-39 presents such a wonderful opportunity to operate in the Holy Spirit that we are able to so, “walk by the Spirit,” that we “will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16 in the context of Galatians 5:16-26).
 Philippians 2:12-13