"Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He responded by giving them what is known as "The Lord's Prayer.' Ever since, it is likely the most familiar and most used prayer in the Church. So here's the question for each of us, particularly as pertains to the above verse; how much and how deeply has this prayer been answered in our lives, in our fellowships, and in that part of the world where He has placed us?
Here's another question; when we pray "Your Kingdom come," just what is it that we think we're praying for? In what ways do we want it to come? Where do we want it to come, and even more, where, in our true self, do we not? We may want His Kingdom to reign around us. Does it reign within us?
Most in the Church seem to see His Kingdom as a future hope and not a present reality. It's either something they're trying to build and make happen here on earth, or, it's some far off dream that won't be realized until we leave this place. Either way, we're wrong. The Kingdom won't be ushered in by our efforts. It's already here. Jesus told His listeners that the Kingdom of God was among them and He invited them to enter into it. Now. They didn't have to make it happen, and they didn't have to wait a lifetime to realize it. The Kingdom, in all the fullness possible for those still living in the flesh and blood side of eternity, was here, and it is ours.....If we would receive it, walk in it, live in it, and behold it to grow within and around us. Now. Not later. It wasn't and isn't some goal to be realized, but a reality to be abundantly lived in.
So let's get back to praying that prayer. When we pray it, do we realize just what it is we pray for, and if we have, do we still pray for it? When Jesus directed His disciples to pray for His Kingdom to come, He meant that they were to pray for His Kingdom to come in every facet of their lives, within and without. It also meant that the fullness of the Kingdom, the rule and authority of the Father in all things, would come to every affair both of the Church and the world. There can be only one Kingdom; His. There is no room for ours. More, it wasn't a "someday" expectation, but a "today" one. Chris Tiegreen writes about our deferring the Kingdom to some future time. "God will do miracles, but not now. Every knee will bow to Jesus, but perhaps none today. We may see some momentary blessings - or glimpses of them, but we can't expect them or enjoy them for long." Jesus said that the Kingdom has come, and it continues to come. Not yet in its complete fullness, but it is here. We're called into its reality. Have we entered in, or is our mindset closer to that which Tiegreen writes about? Do we wait to enter into what is already before us?
I asked that if we knew what praying this prayer really meant, would we still pray it? In addition to saying that His Kingdom had come, Jesus also said that in this world we would have tribulation. Those who seek the fullness of His Kingdom in their lives and the lives of others will certainly encounter resistance. Intense resistance. Mark Batterson called this world a "shadowland where light and darkness clash." When we pray for the fullness of His Kingdom to come, it means that His Kingdom will certainly collide with the world's. And we'll be in the middle. The loved ones we pray for the Kingdom to come to, will be as well. So will all the situations we place before Him that cry out for His deliverance, His salvation, His healing. There is a spiritual violence involved in all of it, and it will shatter the comfortable complacency we love so much. We'll no longer be able to pray this prayer from the safety and comfort of our home groups and ladies Bible studies, or from our men's prayer breakfasts. We'll be praying it from the midst of the shadowlands, but we'll be praying in His Kingdom power because we are living in that power. A Kingdom that has come and has already overcome every kingdom of the world, and the satanic kingdom that rules them all.
So, what will we do with this prayer? Do we pray it in power, having no fear of the ramifications that come with that? Or, do we go on giving it "lip service" from the comfort of our spiritual easy chairs? The Kingdom has come, and it is continually coming. It's not a "Someday" thing, but a "Today" one. We're in the shadowlands, but His Light is upon, in, and with us. The fullness of His Kingdom is now, and we must walk in it now. Or, do we just go on acknowledging its reality, but not living that reality? One thing is for sure. For His Kingdom and will to come and be done, our kingdom and will must die. So, do we really want to pray this prayer?....It's His prayer. Is it ours?