When I hear the Lord’s Prayer being recited ‘parrot fashion’, I often wonder if the people praying have really thought about what they’re asking for.
‘Your Kingdom come’ - What does that mean? In Revelation 21 we’re promised that: ‘God will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain’. Is that what we’re asking for? Jesus did many miracles, healed many people, forgave sin, demonstrated compassion and grace, and was not condemning. Is that what we mean by the Kingdom?
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt shortly before His death the people seemed to be happy. They shouted and sang praise to God for sending Jesus. But not everyone was happy. The religious leaders were very unhappy; after all Jesus went straight to the temple and caused uproar by throwing out the money changers and those selling doves for sacrifice, and then He healed everyone. It was these leaders that planned how to kill Jesus and worked on turning the people against him. Why would they do that? Why would they not want to see people healed and corrupt tradesmen exposed?
Listen to the challenge they went to him with: ‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ they asked. `And who gave you this authority?’ (Matthew 21:23b). Authority in the temple and over religious teaching belonged to them and they didn’t like Jesus coming and taking that authority without their permission. He was demonstrating that it was God who had authority in the temple and over the truth of His word, and that God had given that authority to Him. It was a power struggle basically, and they were not prepared to submit to His authority.
A kingdom is a place which is under the authority, the rule and reign, of a king. So when we pray to God that His Kingdom will come we’re asking that Jesus would establish His authority. He can only do that if we’re prepared to submit to that authority. The truth is that there’s a power struggle for every one of us, because we all, like Adam and Eve before us, want to run our own lives. Like the religious leaders of Jesus day we want to be in control.
If we want those blessings promised in Revelation 21 and demonstrated by Jesus to us every day we will need to recognise and submit to his kingly authority (we could call it His Lordship). We will need to submit every area of our lives to Him, not just once, but every day of our lives, because He takes us to a deeper level all the time.
Prayer: Father, I want to submit afresh every area of my life to the Lordship of Jesus that Your Kingdom may truly come and Your will may be done. Amen.
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