Saint-Cyprian-of-CarthageThy will be done, as in heaven so in earth means not that God should do what He wills, but that we may be able to do what God wills….

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 in his own strength, but he is safe by the grace and mercy of God.

And further, the Lord, setting forth the infirmity of the humanity which He bore, says, Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; and affording an example to His disciples that they should do not their own will, but God’s, He went on to say, Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.

And in another place He says, I came down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of Him that 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!

Thus in his epistle John also exhorts and instructs us to do the will of God, saying,

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.

If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him….

But he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever, even as God also abideth for ever.”

We who desire to abide for ever should do the will of God, who is everlasting.

Now that is the will of God which Christ both did and taught.

Humility in conversation; stedfastness 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 the brethren; 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 adhere inseparably to His love;

to stand by His cross bravely and faithfully;

when there is any contest on behalf of His name and honour, to exhibit in discourse that constancy wherewith we make confession;

in torture, that confidence wherewith we do battle; in death, that patience whereby we are crowned;

—this is to desire to be fellow-heirs with Christ;

—this is to do the commandment of God;

—this is to fulfil the will of the Father.

Cyprian of Carthage (d.258): On The Lord’s Prayer, 14-15.

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