Day Three: ‘Your Kingdom come…’ (Matthew 6, verse 10a) Readings: Jeremiah 33:14-26; Matthew 22:1-14 Over the first two days of our week of prayer, we have concentrated on the person of ‘our Father who is in heaven’. As we approach God, Jesus teaches us to recognise that he is ‘our Father’ and we need to ‘hallow’ His name every time we pray by our praise and adoration. These expressions are followed by what our Father would like us to say to Him: ‘Your kingdom come’. Praying this way is praying for the kingdom of God, the kingdom over which He and He alone is Lord and King. It is a kingdom on earth (Matthew 6:10a), but it is not of this world with all its systems. Jesus Christ affirmed this himself before Pilate (John 18:36). Praying ‘Your kingdom come’ means praying that the plans of our heavenly Father be accomplished. His plan is that Jesus Christ should come and reign as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His plans should be the preoccupation of our entire lives and prayers. But our prayers are often self-centred. They focus on our needs, our plans and our aspirations. Often we are no different from very small children who know no other world than their own feelings and their own needs. In the Christian life, it is a real challenge when we have to fight against old sinful habits which arise from deep selfishness. So then, when we pray for ourselves or others, let’s pray for the will of God to come about. Someone once remarked that if a prayer does not mention the kingdom of God, it isn’t a prayer. His name is glorified when His kingdom comes. His kingdom comes when He begins to reign in the hearts of men and women, and this begins when they hear the Gospel and personally receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. This is how we can say that the kingdom is present in the hearts of believers (Luke 17:21). However, we must be aware that the kingdom of God and the Christian life do face opposition in the world we live in, a world dominated by the reign of Satan whose primary characteristic is opposition to the kingdom of God and His people. Praying ‘Your kingdom come’ means praying that the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ be shown in the lives of each of His children. This begins at conversion when new citizens of the kingdom are made. This conversion requires an invitation to be issued (Matthew 22:1-14), followed by repentance (Mark 1:14-15) and a willing response (Mark 12:28-34). At the moment, this kingdom on earth exists internally, in other words, in the hearts and thoughts of all those who belong to Jesus Christ, the King. We should pray that their number will increase. The kingdom for which we pray today, and whose foretaste we already have, is of immense value (Matthew 13:44-46). The man in the parable has sold all he had in order to buy salvation. This spiritual kingdom which initially was announced to Abraham (Luke 8:11; 13:28), will only be complete when evil is destroyed and God has established a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). Thus, praying ‘Your kingdom come’ is also a reference to the second coming of the Lord, as the Apostle John tells us in Revelation 22:20: ‘He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.’ Then, our prayers will finally be fully answered. Verse of the Day: For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Prayer Points:
- Pray that the kingdom of God be established today in the hearts and lives of those who do not know Him.
- Pray that His kingdom would come in our hearts, in accordance with what He deserves.
- Pray also that one day He may come and break the tyranny of sin and restore this world.