Jesus goes on to say, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” This echoes the creation, where God declared:
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have
dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens
and over the livestock and over all the earth” (Genesis 1:26 ESV).
The suffix “-dom” ending in the word “kingdom” derives from the Latin dominus, meaning “lord.” So when Jesus told his disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come” he was instructing us to say, “may the dominion of the King of Heaven be over every area of my life.”
As we have said, this is God’s plan for every believer—for us to work as co-laborers on the earth to build the Kingdom of God in relationship with Him. You will remember that in the Garden of Eden, God delegated authority to people to tend the land and name the animals. This was the task given. Then God came down to fellowship and communicate with Adam and Eve during the cool part of the day. This was the relationship.
By praying according to the template found in the Lord’s prayer, we stand up in the Spirit and declare, “Your will be done” in every issue that we face. We are placing ourselves in agreement with God’s plan for us as individuals and for the entire earth.
C.S. Lewis referred to this kind of intercessory prayer as being “God’s fellow-worker” in the world (1 Corinthians 3:9). “How or why does such faith occur sometimes, but not always, even in the perfect petitioner? … My own idea is that it occurs only when the one who prays does so as God’s fellow-worker, demanding what is needed for the joint work.”
“The difference, we are told, between a servant and a friend is that a servant is not in his master’s secrets,” Lewis explains. “For him, ‘orders are orders.’ He has only his own surmises as to the plans he helps to execute. But the fellow-worker, the companion or (dare we say?) the colleague of God is so united with Him at certain moments that something of the divine foreknowledge enters his mind. Hence his faith is the ‘evidence’—that is, the evident-ness, the obviousness—of things not seen.”
When we pray “Your will be done,” we become “God’s fellow-worker” in God’s ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). This intercession is part of the priesthood ministry of Jesus that continues to this day:
“But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable
priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost
those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to
make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:24-25 NKJV).
God invites us to join with him in this intercession. We have a role to play as priests before God—standing as representatives of fallen man, crying out to heaven for mercy.
“You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV).
“They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6 NKJV).
As we pray God’s will on the earth, we are standing as a priest—or an intermediary—between God and mankind. This is one of the main reasons we pray. God’s intention from the beginning of time is that we would carry His delegated authority. So when we pray “Your will be done,” we are standing in the gap between a holy God and sinful humankind. That is what intercession is all about.
Lewis continues: “‘Thy will be done.’ But a great deal of it is to be done by God’s creatures; including me. The petition, then, is not merely that I may patiently suffer God’s will, but also that I may vigorously do it. I must be an agent as well as a patient. I am asking that I may be enabled to do it.”
God wants to enter the affairs of man and bring answers and solutions to the daunting problems we face. But He is waiting on people of faith to decide to partner with Him in prayer.
While this is a true, Biblical statement, have you ever wondered why He would choose to work this way? Why doesn’t God just come in and do what He wants to do in the world? He is sovereign, isn’t He? He is all powerful, isn’t He?
Why do we need to pray? The answer to that question is vital to our walking in the full authority that God intends for us to have in prayer.
Exercising Our God-Given Authority in Prayer
To understand the authority that God intends for all believers to exercise, first we need to recognize that all authority resides with God. He is sovereign. He holds the universe in His hands. Anything that exists is there because He willed it to be so. Speaking of the authority of Christ, Paul wrote to the Colossian church:
“For in him [Jesus] all things were created: things in heaven and on
earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or
authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before
all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17 NIV).
As creator and sustainer of all things, God has all authority in heaven and on earth. He can do whatever He desires to do, whenever and wherever He desires to do it. But the Bible also reveals that God is love. It’s important to understand that it is not just that God loves, but that He is the embodiment of love. Because God is love, He gave a free will to people when He created them. He wants people to return His love freely.
God gave man responsibility in the world—dominion, or delegated authority, to carry out God’s will on this planet. Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus told His disciples, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18 NASB). Jesus was making it clear that as the Son of God, He had all authority in Heaven. And because He was the Son of Man who had paid the price of sin on the cross, He now had all authority on earth as well.
As the Second Adam, Jesus received the authority that God had intended for man since the creation. Because of the New Covenant, God calls us to partner with Him in prayer that His Kingdom would come and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. This is another important reason we pray.
 Lewis, C.S. Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer. 9 April 2019. <https://cslewisthoughts.tumblr.com/post/184058488281/it-seems-to-me-we-must-conclude-that-such>.
 Lewis, C.S. “”Thy Will Be Done” – C.S. Lewis on the Third Petition, from Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer.” 10 December 2011. Pseudepigraphus. <https://www.pseudepigraph.us/2011/12/10/thy-will-be-done-c-s-lewis-on-the-third-petition-2/>.