It is the high prerogative of God that everything in heaven and earth is to be done according to His will, and as the fulfilment of His desires. When He made man in His image it was, above all, that his desires were to be in perfect accord with the desires of God. This is the high honour of being in the likeness of God—that we are to feel and wish just as God. In human flesh man was to be the embodiment and fulfilment of God's desires.
When God created man with the power of willing and choosing what he should be, He limited Himself in the exercise of His will. And when man had fallen and yielded himself to the will of God's enemy, God in His infinite love set about the great work of winning man back to make the desires of God his own. As in God, so in man, desire is the great moving power. And just as man had yielded himself to a life of desire after the things of the earth and the flesh, God had to redeem him, and to educate him into a life of harmony with Himself. His one aim was that man's desire should be in perfect accord with His own.
The great step in this direction was when the Son of the Father came into this world, to reproduce the Divine desires in His human nature, and in His prayer to yield Himself up to the perfect fulfilment of all that God wished and willed. The Son, as Man, said in agony and blood, "Thy will be done," and made the surrender even to being forsaken of God, that the power that had deceived man might be conquered and deliverance procured. It was in the wonderful and complete harmony between the Father and the Son when the Son said, "Thy will of love be done," that the great redemption was accomplished.
And this is now the great work of appropriating that redemption, that believers have to say, first of all for themselves, and then in lives devoted to intercession for others: "Thy will be done in heaven as on earth." As we plead for the Church— its ministers and its missionaries, its strong Christians or its young converts—for the unsaved, whether nominally Christian or heathen, we have the privilege of knowing that we are pleading for what God wills, and that through our prayers His will is to be done on earth as in heaven.