It is no small thing to figure out what God’s will is, even a piece of it, and go forward in life in accordance with it. I might compare it to eating an elephant: one bite at a time.
But almost by assumption that the hearers know what the will of God is, Jesus includes this in the teaching of “The Our Father”. What is more, Jesus teaches the hearers to ask for it to be done as follows.
“Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
The concept of God’s will being done should be understood first that God is love. The type of love God is in the Greek is “Agape” which is divine, unlimited, unselfish love and always in the context of giving. Just looking at John 3:16 we see, “God so loved the world that He sent…” you likely know the rest. Within the communion of the Trinity the Father initiates and the Son reciprocates and the Holy Spirit proceeds always from both (the ancient word for this was the Filioque). Time does not exist for these three Who’s of The Divine What. This love with deference for the other two is an eternal “now”. And thus the identity of “The I AM”.
But the world we live in is not made of agape. It is made of eros. Eros could be translated as, “I love you..based on what I can get out of you”. With this is a blindness so par for the course with sin. So much that when Jesus comes on the scene their hatred was considered from the blindness of their hearts and because their deeds were evil. The evil deeds were part of a perpetual cycle of self-love that costs everything of a soul. Jesus pinpointed on this about “gaining the world but losing your soul”.
So with that in mind, God wants to remedy this situation with creation coming into that communion as described above which is His will. How would this be accomplished?
1: All man’s effort. Work for it in the midst of vague hints and the spiritual elite are full of the stuff to ascend to that. This does not work because God is love and does not created people to the elitists.
2: God coerces. This would be God blowing our socks off so often with the piercing of natural cycles with the supernatural. Such would be such an imposition that the independent will of the individual is hampered.
3: The still small voice in universal truth with a universal message with a universal community in mind. And God would not use people despite their weaknesses but because of their weaknesses in light of grace. And this use would be in cooperation.
But what would the cooperation look like? In the history of God’s interpersonal structure of the remedy of eros there were important people that were finite beings with fallen man patterns that made them cooperate imperfectly. From so many there are imperfect models.
Until you come to a young lady in Nazareth, Palestine in the Year 0. She says, “Let it be done to me according to your word” in context of being told she would bear the Son of God.
The conception happened in the context of her having been filled with grace. Are you filled with grace now? Then ask for it. Then see how God could call you in your own unique way to carry the grace and truth realized in Jesus Christ into the world around you. You could lose the world, but gain all that your soul is meant to be in giving recklessly to God and humanity at your side.
But another important point from they turning point person in salvation history is the simple message of Mary when speaking to the servants preparing the way for Jesus to change water to wine, “Do whatever He tells you”.
For the will of God is expressed through Jesus Christ in the message of His life and atonement on the cross. When we “behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:19) we become scandalized by what we look at because our deeds are evil. But if in humility and enlightened by grace we get past that, the scandalous Christ on the cross becomes our righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
So to pray for God’s will to be done, holistic salvation of the entire person, is to be inextricably linked to the wild ride of seeing the power of God manifest in prayers in divine harmony.
“How much more reason have we sinful creatures to learn obedience – we who in him have become children of adoption. We ask our Father to unite our will to his Son’s, in order to fulfill his will, his plan of salvation for the life of the world. We are radically incapable of this, but united with Jesus and with the power of his Holy Spirit, we can surrender our will to him and decide to choose what his Son has always chosen: to do what is pleasing to the Father (Catechism of The Catholic Church 2825).
So the further we go in such communion, the more lined we will be in God’s purposes and holistic salvation is not just a theory but a lived our reality. “Consider how Jesus Christ teaches us to be humble, by making us see that our virtue does not depend on our work alone but on grace from on high. He commands each of the faithful who prays to do so universally, for the whole world. For he did not say “thy will be done in me or in us,” but “on earth,” the whole earth, so that error may be banished from it, truth take root in it, all vice be destroyed on it, virtue flourish on it, and earth no longer differ from heaven” (St. John Chrysostom 4th century). This is one boundary that we do want blurry when it is for the one between heaven and earth. What is stopping us?