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The Lord’s Prayer

"We add, also, and say, "Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth ; " not that God should do what He wills, but that we may be able to do what God wills. For who resists God, that He may not do what He wills? But since we are hindered by the devil from obeying with our thought and deed God's will in all things, we pray and ask that God's will may be done in us; and that it may be done in us we have need of God's good will, that is, of His help and protection, since no one is strong by his own strength, but he is safe by the grace and mercy of God. And further, the Lord, showing the weakness of the humanity which He took on, says, " Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me " ; and giving example to His disciples that they should not do their own will, but God's, He went on to say, " Yet not as I want, but what you want." And in another place He says, " I came down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me." Now if the Son was obedient to do His Father's will, how much more should the servant be obedient to do his Master's will! as in his letter John also exhorts and instructs us to do the will of God, saying, " Do not love the world or  the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those, who love the world ; for all that is in the world - the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches - comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever," We who desire to live forever should do the will of God, who is everlasting. Now the will of God which Christ both did and taught : humility in conversation ; steadfastness in faith ; modesty in words ; justice in deeds; mercifulness in works; discipline in morals; to be unable to do a wrong, and to be able to bear a wrong when done ; to keep peace with brothers; to love God with all one's heart; to love Him in that He is a Father; to fear Him in that He is God; to prefer nothing whatever to Christ, because He did not prefer anything to us; to remain steadfast in His love ; to stand by His cross bravely and faithfully ; when there is any contest on behalf of His name and honour, to show in words constancy in confessing our faith in Him ; in torture, that confidence wherewith we do battle ; in death, that patience whereby we are crowned; — this is to desire to be fellowheirs with Christ; this is to do the commandment of God ; this is to fulfill the will of the Father.

Moreover, we ask that the will of God may be done both in heaven and on earth, each of which things pertains to the fulfillment of our safety and salvation. For since we possess the body from the earth and the spirit from heaven, we ourselves are earth and heaven ; and in both — that is, both in body and spirit — we pray that God's will may be done.

And therefore we pray daily, in continual supplications, that God’s will concerning us should be done both in heaven and on earth; because this is the will of God, that earthly things should give place to heavenly, and that spiritual and divine things should prevail.

And it may be thus understood, dear brothers, that since the Lord commands and ad­monishes us even to love our enemies, and to pray even for those who persecute us, we should ask, moreover, for those who are still earth, and have not yet begun to be heavenly, that even in respect of these God's will should be done, which Christ accomplished in preserving and renewing humanity. For since the disciples are not now called by Him earth, but the salt of the earth, and the apostle (St. Paul) designates the first man as being from the dust of the earth, but the second from heaven, we reasonably, who ought to be like God our Father, who makes His sun to rise upon the good and bad, and sends rain upon the just and the unjust, so pray and ask by the admonition of Christ as to make our prayer for the salvation of all men ; that as in heaven — that is, in us by our faith — the will of God has been done, so that we might be of heaven ; so also on earth — that is, in those who do not believe — God's will may be done, that they who as yet are by their first birth of earth, may, being born of water and of the Spirit, begin to be of heaven."

St. Cyprian, Treatises: The Lord’s Prayer, 14 – 17.



O God, You revealed Your Will for us all through the words and deeds of Your Divine Son. Assist us, we earnestly beseech You, to follow His example in our lives in order to contemplate and praise You for ever in Your eternal abode. We ask You this through Your same Son Jesus Christ, Our Lord…


By Ateneo Pontificio "Regina Apostolorum"