Matt. 6:9-13


     “This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’"


    Jesus told a story about a young nobleman who went to a distant country to receive his kingdom and then he returned to rule (You can read it in Luke 19:12, KJV, ESV, or NASB).  That seems odd doesn't it?  We think of a "kingdom" as being the country; it is the nation over which the monarch rules.  So did this young ruler go somewhere and acquire a nation?!   No, probably not.  The normal biblical meaning of the word "kingdom" is: "The power and the authority to rule."  In the Bible, the word "kingdom" has lot more to do with sovereignty than it does with jurisdiction. 

    So, OK pastor, how does that apply to the Lord's Prayer?  Well, notice that "your kingdom come" doesn't stand alone in this prayer; it is coupled to "your will be done" . . . and that is the point.  This portion of the prayer has to do with God's rule, the outworking of His will, things being done God's way.  The petition is that God would rule on earth like He does in heaven, and certainly God's will is always done there.  So what we are saying when we pray this is: God would you exercise your power and authority here and now in my life?  Would you order my steps according to Your will and enable me to glorify You as Your angels do.  

    That of course raises an interesting question.  Isn't God's will already being done here and now?  What could stand in the way?  Well, with respect to your life, the answer is your disobedience.  Make no mistake, this isn't a request that God get on the stick and start taking His Kingship more seriously.  No, it is an honest acknowledgement that you are failing to yield to His will.  It isn't an appeal that God should change, it is a request that God would change you and me and all others who are known by His name.  It is a plea that He would help us be more holy so that His name will be honored.  When you pray, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” you are simply echoing the prayer of Jesus Himself who prayed, "Not my will but yours be done."

--- Pastor Keith Andrews