Fri, May 15, 2020

Your Kingdom Come, Your will be done

Good morning, Anthem Church!

Each time we sit down to write one of these devotionals and start to wonder what you guys are going through… what your experiences are and how they are interacting with God’s presence in your life. For this one I am particularly curious about your hope. What are you hoping for? Hope is such a powerful force in our lives. In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us to pray a simple phrase that has profound significance:

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Whoa. That’s the kind of statement that takes your breath away. We are going to take some time to dig into this a bit today.

So what exactly are we doing when we pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done”? George Eldon Ladd’s The Gospel of the Kingdom has some helpful words. He helps us understand the definition of the Kingdom in scripture, not how we would naturally think of it with our english understanding of the word being “realm or territory” but rather as…

‘His reign, His rule, His sovereignty...The Kingdom of God is his kingship, His rule, His authority...the Kingdom is not a realm or a people but God’s reign.’

So with that definition in mind, what are we being taught to pray? Again some helpful insight from Ladd...

“We pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The confidence that this prayer is to be answered when God brings human history to the divinely ordained consummation enables the Christian to retain his balance and sanity of mind in this mad world in which we live. Our hearts go out to those who have no such hope. Thank God, His Kingdom is coming and it will fill all the earth.

 

But when we pray, ‘Thy Kingdom come,’ we also ask that God’s will be done here and now, today. This is the primary concern of these expositions, that the reader might meet the Kingdom of God, or rather that the Kingdom of God might meet him. We should also pray, ‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done’ in my church as it is in heaven. The life and fellowship of a Christian church ought to be a fellowship of people among whom God’s will is done--a bit of heaven on earth. ‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done’ in my life as it is in heaven. This is included in our prayer for the coming of the Kingdom.”

There is a reality to the kingdom of God that we live in today as we submit ourselves more and more to the reign of God in our lives...and also, there is a hope for the future that we can firmly build our lives on. Let's spend some time with Jesus praying into both of those realities today.

Exercise #1: Hope in the coming reign of Jesus. Read 1 Peter 1:3-10,13 

- Where have you falsely placed your hope?
- Where should our hope be?
- Spend some time in prayer releasing and realigning hope.
- As Jesus models for us, pray for His Kingdom to come. Maranatha! Come Lord!

Exercise #2: Submission to Jesus’ reign now.  

- With a posture of humility read through Galatians 2:20.
- In prayer ask the Lord to highlight places in your life where you are holding on to control.
- In prayer hand those places/spaces/people back to Jesus giving Him full access to lead and guide you.

His kingdom come, his will be done has an immense effect on our prayer lives as we pray for our present obedience and our future glory. Jesus shapes prayers in us that keep both elements in view, knowing that we long for the day that his kingdom comes in full, but able to (and commissioned to) live out the realities of his kingdom here today. 

Matt and Kristen