When my daughter was younger, we used to read a Bible story and pray before she went to sleep. And quite often, as you might expect, we’d pray the Lord’s prayer. And then one evening, when she was about nine, I suddenly began to wonder what some of those oh-so-familiar, oh-so-rich words might mean to a little girl of nine: ‘Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’
It is a prayer that is global in scope: That God’s Will would be done on earth as God’s Will is done in heaven. It’s a prayer that says Your Will be done in my church and in the local council, in the homegroup and in the swimming pool, in the Sunday school and in the school, in the soup kitchen and in the hospital, in the factory and the queue for the checkout… Nothing is left out.
And what could these words mean to my nine-year-old daughter?
Not very much, I concluded.
So from time to time, we’d pray it differently: ‘Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done in my school as in heaven, in my classroom as in heaven, in my ballet class…’
Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven and in the bit of the earth you’ve placed me in, in my street, in my town, on my frontline.
God teaches us to pray this prayer and to live in ways that contribute to its fulfilment – wherever we are.