Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10
Reading the morning newspaper can be hazardous to your health. Consider these recent stories from one day: Cyberbulling law being considered. Taliban prisoner exchange fuels debate. France sells Russian warship amidst U.S. protest. Martial law considered for Eastern Ukraine. Attack on Yemen checkpoint kills 14. Manhunt as police shot in Canada. Charges detail chilling plot to kill 12-year-old classmate.
No wonder Jesus taught us to pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
The Scriptures speak of heaven as the dwelling place of God, where all God’s attributes are manifested purely and perfectly. Psalm 97:1 declares boldly: “The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad,” expressing God’ssovereign rule over the expanse of both the earthly and heavenly realms. The imagery then continues in this breathtaking statement about the character and nature of God’s reign: “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne” (vs. 2). God is on his throne, the foundation of which is righteousness and justice—God’s perfect order. The way things ought to be.
Pause for a moment to consider all that is wrong in this world. Violence. War. Strife. Racism. Inequality. Economic oppression. Hatred. Slavery. Broken families. Arrogance. Poverty of mind and body. Disease. Sexual abuse. Things are not as they ought to be. Now imagine God’s reign and rule—his righteousness and his justice—invading all that is wrong and twisted. Violence ceases. War gives way to peace. Strife in families is extinguished by reconciliation. Perpetrators of slavery are caught and punished. Economic oppression is conquered by generosity. Arrogance and pride are overwhelmed by humility and service. Long-held grudges disappear in lavish forgiveness. In short, the kingdom and rule of God takes hold—on earth, just as it is in heaven.
“Your kingdom come” is a prayer and a plea. “Oh God, may your rule and reign that is perfect and rooted in righteousness and justice, increase in this broken world—as it is in heaven. May my life, my relationships, and every other area of my life be different because the Holy Spirit has emboldened and filled me. I yearn to see your will and ways dominate my life and the lives of those around me. May your kingdom come. Kingdom come.”
PONDER: Pray the prayer in the previous paragraph. What part is most difficult for you to pray?
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• THERE IS A HIGHER THRONE •
There is a higher throne
Than all this world has known,
Where faithful ones from ev’ry tongue Will one day come.
Before the Son we’ll stand,
Made faultless through the Lamb; Believing hearts find promised grace— Salvation comes.
Hear heaven’s voices sing;
Their thund’rous anthem rings
Through em’rald courts and sapphire skies. Their praises rise.
All glory, wisdom, pow’r,
Strength, thanks, and honor are
To God our King, who reigns on high Forevermore.
And there we’ll find our home, Our life before the throne;
We’ll honor Him in perfect song Where we belong.
He’ll wipe each tear-stained eye
As thirst and hunger die.
The Lamb becomes our Shepherd King; We’ll reign with Him.
Words and Music by Keith & Kristyn Getty Copyright © 2003 Thankyou Music
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In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. Today we know this as the Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is powerful because it helps keep our prayer life in perspective.
Read Matthew 6:9-13. The first verse praises God: “Hallowed be your name.” Take some time to praise and thank God for what you are thankful for. Next, “Your kingdom come, your will be done” reminds us to ask God to help us conform to his will for our lives. How do you think God wants you to act? In verse 11, we ask for what we need. What do you need from God today? Then we ask for forgiveness for our sin and for God to help us forgive others. What do you need to ask God’s forgiveness for? Then close by asking for God’s protection.