“Let your kingdom come, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
I count myself very fortunate to have been raised in a godly Christian home. As long as I can remember, I have loved God and wanted to serve Him well. I cannot recall ever having a robust prayer life as an adolescent, but I do recall consistently yearning for God’s touch, direction, and purpose to be fulfilled in my life. It was not until my senior year of Bible college that I really truly began to appreciate the Lord’s Prayer in a new and profound way. Never really feeling like my prayer life was stellar, I found myself consistently intrigued by this prayer which my church tradition was not known for praying together as a community. I came to discover that millions upon millions of believers pray (and have prayed) this prayer on a daily basis and I wondered why my particular church tradition had neglected such a liberating and intriguing prayer. After all, Jesus did give this prayer to His disciples to be both a distinguishing prayer, as well as a template for other kinds of prayers.
During my final year at University I chose the Lord’s Prayer as the topic for my Senior Paper (a capstone essay in my Undergraduate studies) and even after I had written a sixty-page exegetical analysis of this prayer, it seemed to me that I had still just skimmed the surface of the depths to be found concerning this prayer. I came to discover that the word “kingdom” really was not a reference to a political body or some specific geographic boundary marker for a nation in the sense that we think of them today. Many commentators contend that the word “kingdom” is better rendered as “kingship.” Kingship has to do with the rule, reign or dominion a king exercises over that which he has authority. This certainly added a different dimension to my understanding of the petition,“thy kingdom come…” A clear parallelism connects the expression “let your kingdom come” and “let your will be done” in the prayer. It is apparent that Jesus is striking at the heart of a true disciple; namely, not for our own personal rule, dominion, desires, or passions to be realized over against those of our True Master and Lord. At the heart of a disciple of Jesus the Messiah is the cry for God to be given His rightful place and for His desires, dreams, rule and authority to be established in our world around us. What is more, the manner in which this is to be done is qualified by the expression “on earth as it is in heaven.”
Who among us would think that God’s rule and reign is not perfectly established in the heavens? Such a notion seems completely unrivaled, and rightly so. God is God and his Reign isn’t questioned in the heavenly realms. But here on earth, we find ourselves in the sea of rebellion in which each of us seems to be vying for our own self-interests, and to actualize our own kingdoms and our own wills to be fulfilled. Surely you have heard that God has a plan for your life and that He desires to do great things in and through you. I certain believe this is the case, yet I also I am convinced that this sentiment can only truly come about when God Himself is given permission to rule over us as the True Lord and for His Will to be established in and through our lives. Futile efforts to be our own Lord and to fulfill our own desires not only jeopardizes His Perfect Will from being established in our lives; it almost certainly sabotages great good from being materialized in our lives both in the here and now as well as in the future. Join me in praying, “O God, will you truly rule over me today and may Your desires for me come to pass! In Jesus name, Amen.”
Question for the Day:
How badly do I want the risen Lord to rule over me today and for His Will to be established in my life?