Summary: I am convinced that many of us don’t comprehend the power of prayer. If you don’t get anything else from this message, get this: much prayer, much power. Little prayer, little power. No prayer, no power. There is power in prayer and that is no more true t
Thy Kingdom Come
I am convinced that many of us don’t comprehend the power of prayer. If you don’t get anything else from this message, get this: much prayer, much power. Little prayer, little power. No prayer, no power. There is power in prayer and that is no more true than in the part of the Lord’s Prayer we’re talking about today: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Today, we’re talking about the power of praying for two things: God’s kingdom and God’s will. But what is God’s kingdom? When Jesus first started his ministry, he announced the kingdom of God was at hand. When we use the word “kingdom” we think of a place or an area with geographic and political boundaries. But the Greek word for "kingdom" in the Bible puts the emphasis on the rule or reign of the king rather on the place that king exercises that reign. In fact, some Bible translations translate the Greek phrase "kingdom of God" as the "reign of God" or the "rule of God" to bring out this idea. If Jesus announced the kingdom or reign of God, why do we see so much evil in the world? Clearly, the kingdom of God has not reached fruition. So we live in a time of tension between the establishment of God’s kingdom and its consummation. Some Bible scholars call this a tension between the "already" aspects of God’s reign and the "not yet" aspects" of God’s reign. The powers of evil and darkness have been defeated by Jesus through his death and resurrection, yet because of the "not yet" there’s still evil and darkness in our world. So when we pray, "your kingdom come" we’re not asking for the "already" part, but we’re looking forward to the "not yet" part when God’s will shall always be followed.
God’s kingdom and God’s will are really two sides of the same coin. Think of God’s kingdom as the big picture perspective, like a telescope looking at the galaxies. God’s kingdom is His saving reign over all of creation. So the phrase God’s kingdom looks at the whole picture, the entire galaxies, from the perspective of Christ’s work being applied and God’s plan of salvation being completely fulfilled. Think of God’s will as looking at the same thing from a smaller perspective, like through a microscope. God’s will is His saving reign in a particular circumstance, like in a relationship, or an issue, or a problem you’re facing. So essentially the phrases "God’s kingdom" and "God’s will" refer to the same reality, God’s saving reign, but from a slightly different perspective.
When you pray for God’s kingdom, what image of the kingdom do you have in mind? Why is that important? If you don’t have an idea about the kingdom of God, then you’re just praying empty words. Even more, what you think about God’s coming kingdom shapes your behavior and life in the present one. If I believe God’s kingdom is one of justice then I am going to engage in activities that promote justice. If I believe that God’s coming kingdom is about caring for the poor, then I am going to be about caring for the poor. Praying for God’s kingdom is praying for God’s law, God’s heart, God’s will and God’s values to be established among us. What does that look like? I think Dr. Martin Luther King began to paint a picture of the kingdom of God here on earth when he stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, “I have a dream…” and he. (Show Video)