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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 103. What do we pray for in the third petition?
A. In the third petition, which is, Thy will be done on 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.

1. Is the will of God's commands the rule of our action? Yes: we must understand what the will of the Lord is, Eph. 5:17. Are we to pray that we may conform to this rule? Yes: that we may prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God, Rom. 12:2 Must we pray that God would give us to know his will? Yes: Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law, Ps. 119:34. And to know it fully? Yes: That ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will, Col.1:9. And to know it in doubtful cases? Yes: Teach me thy way, O Lord, lead me in a plain path, Ps. 27:11. Do all who are sanctified truly desire to know God's will Yes: What saith my Lord unto his servant? Josh. 5:14.

2. When we know God's will, are we able of ourselves to do it? No: we are not sufficient of ourselves, 2 Cor. 3:5. Must we therefore pray to God to make us able? Yes: Now, therefore, O God, strengthen my hands, Neh. 6:9. And must we depend upon his grace? Yes: I will go in the strength of the Lord God, Ps. 71:16. Must we pray to God to make us willing? Yes: incline my heart unto thy testimonies, Ps. 119:36. And to make us entirely willing? Yes: Unite my heart to fear thy name, Ps. 36:11.

3. Must we pray that we may be sincere in our obedience? Yes: Let my heart be sound in thy statutes, Ps. 119:80. And that we may be exact in our obedience? Yes: O that my ways were directed to keep thy commandments! Ps. 119:5. And that we may be universal in our obedience? Yes: That we may stand complete in all the will of God, Col. 4:12. And that we may be armed against that which would divert us from our obedience? Yes: Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, and quicken thou me in thy way, Ps. 119:37. And must we pray that others also may do God's will? Yes: That they may be perfect in every good work, to do his will, Heb. 13:21.

4. Is the will of God's counsel the rule of his actions? Yes: for he worketh all according to the counsel of his own will, Eph. 1:11. Must we desire that this may be done? Yes: The will of the Lord be done, Acts 21:14. Rather than our own will? Yes: Not as I will, but as thou wilt, Matt. 26:39. And must we acquiesce in it? Yes: It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good, 1 Sam. 3:18. And must we pray that he will enable us to do so? Yes: That we may be strengthened with all might, unto all patience and longsuffering, with joyfulness, Col. 1:11.

5. Do the angels in heaven do the will of God? Yes: they do his commandments, hearkening to the voice of his word, Ps. 103:20. Do they do it readily? Yes: they fly swiftly, Dan. 9:21. Do they do it zealously? Yes: for they are a flaming fire, Ps. 104:4. Do they do it with an eye to God? Yes: for they always behold the face of our Father, Matt. 18:10. And are we to pray that God's will may so be done on earth? Yes: that the kingdoms of this world may become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, Rev. 11:15.

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