Flip Side of Matthew 6:10

If earth has the potential to be like heaven…

If we are to pray for that potential to be realized…

Then it must be possible for that potential not to be realized. It must be possible for earth to be a place not of heaven, but of something else: suffering, oppression, injustice, horror….

Of course, we all know that this is true. Hell on earth is possible and real. It has happened. In nations, neighborhoods, houses, it is happening right now.

The promise of Matthew 6:10 is not just the abstract hope that we can see heaven advance. The promise of Matthew 6:10 is also the grittier and more tangible hope that we can push back and see hell recede—that we can see human beings physically provided for and actually set free.

Implications of Matthew 6:10

We are supposed to pray that God’s will would “be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Think about what that implies:

1. God’s will is not always done.

Earth is the place where what God wants to happen is not always what happens. He lets other wills decide. We don’t know why he allows this, but it explains a lot.

2. Earth is GOOD.

Earth is not irreparably broken. It has the potential to be a place where God’s will prevails. If it did not have this potential, then we would not be called to pray for this.

3. We have our work cut out for us.

To pray is to step up and say, “If I am to be the instrument of this prayer coming to pass, then I am ready.” Otherwise we don’t really mean what we are praying.

Apply that idea to this line out of the Lord’s Prayer. If everyone praying “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” understood this to be a personal mission statement, how would that change things?