Your Kingdom Come
(Continued from Our Father, and Hallowed Be Your Name)
Your Kingdom come. (Matthew 6:10)
What does it mean for God’s Kingdom to come? That depends on your circumstances when you are praying, and what other kingdom you are currently living under. So for instance, people in the United States in an upper middle class environment will not be inclined to cry out for God’s kingdom to come in the same way as Christians in the middle east with ISIS knocking on the gates of their city. For the widow in the parable of the unjust judge, it would have been a cry for justice against her adversary (Luke 18:2-8).
When Jesus taught the disciples to pray this request, certain things that may have been forefront in their minds. The Kingdom they were hoping for is the messianic Kingdom. The expectation was that the Kingdom would come and bring justice, righteousness, and deliverance for those held in captivity and bondage (Psalm 45:6; Isaiah 9:4-7). It was anticipated as a time for those who were oppressed to be lifted up, for those who were poor to be satisfied (Psalm 145:13-20; Isaiah 11:3-4).i
So when we pray for God’s Kingdom to come, we are praying for His right oversight of the world to come—His justice. There are so many ways this can be specifically applied that the possibilities seem endless, but here are some examples of how to pray for God’s Kingdom to come. (Keep in mind, we are praying, “Our Father…,” so as we think of how we should pray, consider the needs or circumstances of those in the community of Christ around you, not just your own.)
May your justice prevail for my brothers and sisters who are in prison for their faith. Comfort those who are separated from family members because of persecution.
Provide for this single mother in our congregation who has suffered abuse or been abandoned, and show me how I can help.
Provide for the fatherless in our midst and help me to share my own life with them in ways that will strengthen and support them.
May your righteousness prevail in this family. I am aware that the husband is being harsh and unkind toward his wife. Help me to exhort him toward being a loving husband, and let me model that same love in my life.
May your justice prevail in protecting the innocent children that are being slaughtered in the womb. May you help this woman who is scared and feels pressure to go into the abortion clinic and end the life of her child. She herself is being oppressed. May you change the wicked and unjust laws of this nation to protect the helpless.
(We can add to this prayer for those torn apart by war, parents who might unjustly be kept from their children’s lives, and care for orphans.)
This is a short list of examples, but I trust it may stir in you many more ways to pray this request. For the believer, the ultimate form of this request is, “Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 16:22) Only in the final consummation, the final coming of God’s Kingdom, will all injustice will be overturned and all justice prevail. However, while it remains our prayer that the Lord come, let us never fail to cry out for the many ways in which His kingdom can come to help those who so desperately need that help today. And, as we pray for that help, let us not forget to ask the Lord how we might be used to bring that help.
Love the Gospel, Live the Gospel, Advance the Gospel,
Some scriptures to consider as you pray this request (in addition to those mentioned above): Matthew 4:23-24; 6:31-33; Luke 6:27-36; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; Ephesians 3:14-21; Philippians 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13.
iThe year of Jubilee was a huge expression of this release from bondage. So when Jesus came proclaiming the Kingdom He simultaneously came proclaiming the Year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18-19).