“Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:9-13
1. The kingdom: The present day rule and reign of Christ upon the earth
- We live in the already (the kingdom has been inaugurated) but not yet (the final reality).
Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q 102: What do we pray for in the second petition?
A: In the second petition, which is, Thy kingdom come, we pray that Satan's kingdom may be destroyed; and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it; and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.
- The church is the outpost of the kingdom and a place of refuge and refreshment for God’s people.
2. The kingdom is to receive the ultimate allegiance of the children of God
- The kingdom of the resurrected and reigning Christ is not political but it is spiritual. BUT, THE KINGDOM COMES WHEN AND WHERE THE KING IS KNOWN AND WORSHIPED.
3. The kingdom operates on the Law of Reversal
“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.” Luke 6:24-26
4. The kingdom is entered by people who see their need/desperation (Matthew 5:3 and following), and the kingdom is advanced as Jesus is treasured and honored
- Disciples are the servants of the King (1 Peter 2:9)
1. A prayer pattern for kingdom advancement/John Calvin’s daily morning prayer:
“My God—my Father and Preserver—who of your goodness has watched over me during the past night, and brought me to this day, grant also that I may spend it wholly in the worship and service of your most holy deity. Let me not think, or say, or do a single thing which tends not to your service and submission to your will, that thus all my actions may aim at your glory and the salvation of my brethren, while they are taught by my example to serve you. And as you are giving light to this world for the purposes of external life by the rays of the sun, so enlighten my mind by the effulgence of your Spirit, that he may guide me in the way of your righteousness.
To whatever purpose I apply my mind, may the end which I ever propose to myself be your honor and service. May I expect all happiness from your grace and goodness only. Let me not attempt anything whatever that is not pleasing to you. Grant also, that while I labor for the maintenance of this life, and care for the things which pertain to food and raiment, I may raise my mind above them to the blessed and heavenly life which you have promised to your children. Be pleased also, in manifesting yourself to me as the protector of my soul as well as my body, to strengthen and fortify me against all the assaults of the devil, and deliver me from all the dangers which continually beset us in this life….In order to my obtaining of you these great and manifold blessings, forget, and out of your infinite mercy, forgive my offenses, as you have promised that you will do to those who call upon you in sincerity. Grant that I may hear your voice in the morning since I have hoped in you. Show me the way in which I should walk, since I have lifted up my soul unto you. Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, I have fled unto you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Let your good Spirit conduct me to the land of uprightness.”
The Heidelberg Catechism
Q 123: What does the second petition mean?
A: “Your kingdom come” means: Rule us by your Word and Spirit in such a way that more and more we submit to you. Preserve your church and make it grow. Destroy the devil’s work; destroy every force which revolts against you and every conspiracy against your holy Word. Do this until your kingdom fully comes, when you will be all in all.
May your kingdom come with power in my life, as you rule by your word and Spirit. So rule by your word and Spirit that…
- Monday..._________submits more and more to you and your goodness.
- Tuesday…that you preserve and increase your church (kingdom advancement).
- Wednesday…that the works of the devil are destroyed, frustrated, and overthrown.
- Thursday…that all wicked counsel against your word is obliterated.
- Friday…that we progressively see the coming kingdom in our lives as Jesus is treasured/worshiped.
2. The turning of the disciples’ horror to incredible joy, as they understood the reality of the kingdom. (Luke 24:50-53)
1. Why is it important to begin our prayers with the focus on the character of our glorious triune God?
2. How is the kingdom of God “upside-down kingdom” compared to the kingdoms of this world?
3. How is the local church an outpost of the kingdom of God? How do Christians outrun their “supply chain”?
4. How do we show ultimate allegiance to the kingdom of the risen and reigning Christ?