This month we are looking at the Lord’s Prayer. Last week I looked at how Jesus taught His disciples to pray to the Father. We have a new relationship with God, and we can pray as children who are loved.
“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The Kingdom is the main thing Jesus taught on. The Kingdom is a big concept, and it can sometimes be confusing. Let’s start with the basics: in a Kingdom there is a King. Jesus is the King, and He initiated the new reality of the Kingdom – where God’s will is done. King Jesus has a good will for this world and for our lives; living out His will is part of living in the Kingdom. In the Kingdom there is a new relationship with God, people are empowered and live out God’s will in community, and there is justice done as evil is vanquished.
Jesus taught us to pray for the Kingdom. Sadly, most of His followers rarely pray for His Kingdom come. We pray for what we need, we thank God for what He has done, but we don’t pray for the Kingdom. How we pray changes how we think; Jesus invites His followers to pray every day for His Kingdom to come. When we don’t pray for the Kingdom we are missing out on the biggest part of Christ’s message and mission to the world.
The world is in rebellion against God – taking the gift of the will and using it to thwart the good plans of our loving God (and then blaming Him for the state of affairs). Praying for the Kingdom come is first personal – praying that His will might be done in our lives, that our wills would turn aside from their self-centeredness and unite to His will. The death and resurrection of Jesus enables the Holy Spirit to live in us and to help our wills change, so that eventually we would want what He wants, be angry at what makes Him angry, and have our hearts broken for what brings God grief.
We are also praying for His will to be done in the world, and we are aligning ourselves with His mission to bring His Kingdom to earth. Jesus invites people to pray for the Kingdom come, and to live out those prayers in action.
Pray every day for God’s Kingdom to come. I started doing this a number of years ago, and it changed the way I saw life. God opened my eyes to see how His will was being done in the world, often outside of the church. He also opened my eyes to see how His will was being thwarted in the world, and how I was (often unintentionally) participating in the injustice.
Father, may Your Kingdom come!