“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 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 6:5-13 ESV)
“Your KINGDOM come.”
Here is our now familiar word as we have been teaching on the kingdom of God for several months.
We have to understand the kingdom of God to ever properly understand the kingdom of man. We were born in the kingdom of man. Raised in it. It feels normal to us. The kingdom of man is also known as the kingdom of Satan. Remember, this rebellious kingdom began in the heart of Satan as he rebelled against God. He birthed it by temptation in the heart of Eve and then Adam and his rebellion against God spread and infected the cosmos. Satan became the king of the universe:
- The prince of this world (John 14:30 NIV)
- The god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV)
- Ruler of this world (John 12:31)
- The power (kingdom) of Satan (Acts 26:18)
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world. Jesus didn’t dispute they were his to give.
We were born in this kingdom. It feels normal even as our conscience reminds us that it shouldn’t be this way. Deception. Murder. Rape. Sex industry. Our conscience is repulsed by this world and quietly whispers to us that there is another one. A better and beautiful one. The kingdom of God. It is the reign of God which expresses all the purity and glory that is God’s. Heaven displays it perfectly. Earth did until sin destroyed it.
Jesus’ coming brought that kingdom of God back to earth. He took Satan’s temptation in the wilderness and he overcame Satan’s ultimate weapon, death, when he died on the cross and was resurrected. Now he rules and reigns in a kingdom that is usurping Satan’s. Jesus rules in the human heart by faith and exerts his authority through love, truth, and the gospel. It is the power of God unto salvation. It is the power of the future kingdom expressed in the here and now.
We are citizens of the kingdom of God living in a world dominated by the kingdom of Satan. We long for God’s kingdom to fully express itself here. This is the essence of this phrase.
I long for your kingdom, God! I long for your glory and purposes to be accomplished. I long for evil and injustice to be thwarted. I seek your kingdom and its righteousness and its values and priorities. I seek the one true King Jesus and all his glorious purposes in this world. I long for your kingdom. Not mine. Not Bethel’s. Not Indiana’s. Not the United States’ kingdom. I long for your kingdom, O God. Your kingdom come!
It’s not moving God toward my agenda but moving my agenda toward God. It’s not about me getting more of what I want but me wanting more of what He wants. It is a prayer longing for his divine purposes to be accomplished in the world and in my life. In prayer, this reminds us of where our daily emphasis should be and it stirs desires toward the King and his kingdom.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Additional Scripture quotations taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
© 2017 by Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.
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