“Your kingdom come…” (Matthew 6:10)
The second petition of the Lord’s Prayer focuses on God’s kingdom coming upon earth. A kingdom is the sphere of authority and rule of a king, and so, the kingdom of God is the domain of God’s rule and reign.
Throughout the Old Testament, God is referred to as the King: “The Lord is King for ever and ever” (Psalm 10:16). While the phrase kingdom of God never appears in the Old Testament, the concept of God’s kingdom appears again and again. The Temple in Jerusalem was viewed as the place where God is enthroned, the tangible representation of the reality that God in heaven rules over the earth with His power.
That reality comes into sharper focus with Jesus. As the new tabernacle of God upon earth (John 1:14), Jesus brings God’s kingdom close in a new way. In fact, Jesus’ first words in Mark’s Gospel are: “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near” (Mark 1:15). He is telling all who hear that God’s kingdom – His rule and reign – are not far off but are breaking into every nook and cranny of the world in which we live.
When Jesus teaches His disciples to pray “Your kingdom come,” He is inviting them to both internalize God’s agenda personally and to participate in the work of the kingdom on earth. One the one hand, as we pray “Your kingdom come,” we are saying to God that we want Him to reign in us. We want our thoughts, emotions, dreams, desires, and goals – everything about us – to be shaped in line with God’s rule and reign.
On the other hand, when we pray “Your kingdom come,” we are asking God that His rule and reign be established everywhere on earth. Our prayer is that the message of good news in Christ reach every nation (Matthew 24:14), even as we pray that the righteousness and justice of God’s reign be established upon the whole earth (Psalm 89:14). We know that the fullness of God’s kingdom will not come until Christ’s return (Revelation 21:1-8) but still our prayers fervently express a longing for the fullness of that kingdom. This is the final cry of prayer in the Bible: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (22:20).
As disciples our preoccupation in prayer is that God’s kingdom – His rule and reign – be displayed and come to fruition both in us and in the world.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed by Your Name.
May Your kingdom come
in me in all its fullness:
in my thoughts and emotions,
in my pursuits and my dreams –
Your kingdom in and through me
in every way imaginable.
And may Your kingdom come
in every part of the earth:
in the readily seen and the hidden,
in the high places and low places,
in the urban, suburban and rural settings –
in all places, let Your kingdom come!