THE SCHOOL & FAMILY CATECHIST
by Rev. William Smith (1834)
The Westminster Shorter Catechism.
Q. 103. What do we pray for in the third petition?
A. In the third petition, which is, “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven,” we pray, That God, by his grace, would make us able and willing, to know, obey, and submit to his will, in all things, as the angels do in heaven.
To know, obey, and submit to Gad’s [sic. Ed. God’s] will. –To understand God’s purposes and designs, as far as he has made them known to us in his word, and also what he requires of us, or what he would have us to do, to keep his commandments, and to rest satisfied with whatever he may appoint to be our lot in this world.
As the angels do in heaven. –That is, cheerfully, faithfully, zealously, sincerely, and constantly, without either error or mistake.
This answer informs us, that when we use the words, “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven,” we pray for four things :
1. That God, by his grace, or the aid of his Spirit, would make us ABLE to know and obey his will. –Psal. cxix. 34, 35. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments, for therein do I delight.
2. That he would also make us WILLING to know and obey his will. –Psal. cxix. 36. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies.
3. That God would likewise enable us to submit to his will in all things. –Acts xxi. 14. When he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
4. That we may be enabled to do all this, in the same manner, as the angels do in heaven. –Psal. ciii. 20, 22. Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominions; bless the Lord, O my soul!