Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread,and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”'
When Jesus' disciples asked to be taught how to pray, Jesus taught them a prayer that is now known commonly as the Lord's Prayer. I could spend an entire 31 day series focusing on this prayer and it's implications, but I want to focus on one line from this prayer.
Jesus tells his disciples to pray for their Heavenly Father's kingdom to come, and this supplication is weighty. Praying for God's kingdom to come has three implications for the disciples and for us.
God Is Sovereign
When we pray for God's kingdom to come, we submit to God as our King and sovereign. If God is King, that means He has the power and authority to order our lives, to give us rules, guidance, and direction. He is the ruler and authority over our lives. If God is king, then we are not.
His Kingdom Come, Not Ours
When we pray that God's kingdom would come, we are praying that His rule and reign would be made known among the earth. We are praying for the realization of His kingdom not our own kingdom. When we pray for God's kingdom, we put His kingdom before our fleeting and crumbling kingdoms.
Waiting for a Coming Reality
When we pray for God's kingdom to come, we're praying for an "almost, but not yet" reality. While God is King and sovereign over everything in the world NOW, the knowledge of His Lordship is not a reality in all of the hearts of mankind. One day, the name of Jesus will make "every knee bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11)," That is what is to come, but it is also what is happening now. Knees are bowing and confessing that Jesus is Lord, and one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. When we pray for God's kingdom to come, we're praying for a coming reality.
I've witnessed these implications in my own prayer life as I've prayed for God's kingdom to come, just as Jesus taught his disciples to pray. When I pray for God's kingdom, I am reminded that He is my King, that His kingdom is more important than my kingdom, and that His kingdom is a present but also a future reality.
Jesus taught his disciples this prayer as a model of what his disciples should pray for. If we are his disciples, this is a model of prayer for us as well. Jesus taught his disciples to pray for God's kingdom to come, and we should pray for His kingdom to come as well.
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