The Lord’s Prayer 6: “Thy Will Be Done”

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We noted in a previous article that "Thy will be done" parallels "Thy Kingdom come." Both phrases mean, "May you continue establishing your Kingship." Jesus does not instruct his disciples to pray "if it is your will." It is within God’s purpose that all men should repent and become a part of God’s reign. "May your will be accomplished" is a strong affirmative appeal.

This article belongs to the “Studying the Lord’s Prayer with Brad Young” series. For an overview of the entire series, click here.

We noted in a previous article that “Thy will be done” parallels “Thy Kingdom come.” Both phrases mean, “May you continue establishing your Kingship.” Jesus does not instruct his disciples to pray “if it is your will.” It is within God’s purpose that all men should repent and become a part of God’s reign. “May your will be accomplished” is a strong affirmative appeal.

“Let It Be Done”

The key to understanding this petition in Matthew 6:10 is the Greek word γενηθήτω (genēthetō), translated “be done.” This word literally means “let it be” or “let it come about,” and can best be translated to Hebrew by יֵעָשֶׂה (yē·‘ā·SEH, “let it be done”). The most literal Hebrew translation of this entreaty would employ the verb הָיָה (·YĀH, “to be”) and be rendered “Let it be your will in heaven and on earth,” or “Let your will prevail in heaven and on earth.” However, the context of the prayer makes this translation somewhat awkward, and we must keep in mind that the most literal reconstruction is not always the most reliable.

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To read the next article in this series, click here.
The Lord’s Prayer in Greek at the Church of the Pater Noster. Photographed by Anton 17 courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
This article originally appeared in issue 14 of the Jerusalem Perspective magazine. Click on the image above to view a PDF of the original magazine article.

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  • Brad H. Young

    Brad H. Young

    Brad H. Young is the founder and president of the Gospel Research Foundation, Tulsa, Oklahoma. A founding member of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, he is professor of New Testament Studies in the Graduate School of Theology at Oral Roberts University. Young earned M.A. and Ph.D.…
    [Read more about author]

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