May Your Kingdom Come SoonDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon.
The message and ministry of Jesus was centered in the kingdom of God. At the beginning of Mark’s Gospel, for example, Jesus begins preaching “God’s Good News.” Here’s the central message: “The time promised by God has come at last!...The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” (Mark 1:15). Through the Gospels, we heard Jesus speak again and again of the kingdom of God.
Thus, it should not surprise us that his model prayer mentions the kingdom. In the New Living Translation, Jesus asks the Father, “May your Kingdom come soon.” The Greek text does not include any word meaning “soon,” though the NLT surely captures the sense of urgency found in the ministry of Jesus.
But what is Jesus praying for? And how can we imitate him? In briefest summary, the kingdom of God is God’s reign or rule. In a sense, God already reigns over all creation. But, for a season, he has allowed the earth to be ruled by Satan, whom Jesus calls “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). Broken by sin and dominated by evil, this world falls short of God’s grand intentions. But, Jesus promises, the time is coming when God will fully reign once again, not just over Israel, but also over all the earth. We catch a glimpse of this reality in the celebration of Revelation 11:15: “The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.” We who have put our trust in Jesus will be citizens of this eternal kingdom.
When we follow Jesus in praying “May your Kingdom come soon,” we are asking God to establish his reign on earth at some time in the future, the sooner the better. But we are also asking God to make his authority known now. Jesus taught that the kingdom is both present and future. So when we pray for the coming of the kingdom, we are asking God to reign, both in the age to come, and also in our world right now. We are offering ourselves as servants of the King. We are saying, in effect, “God, rule over my life. Reign in and through me.” Moreover, we are crying out for the world, which will never be right until the kingdom of God comes in fullness. Nevertheless, we are asking God to make his justice and righteous, his love and grace known in our world today, even as we await the complete experience of his kingdom that lies ahead.
There is so much more that could be said about the kingdom of God and what it means when we pray for God’s kingdom to come. If you’d like a more in-depth discussion of this topic, let me point you to a series I wrote called: “What Was the Message of Jesus?” In this series, I explain in more detail the meaning of the kingdom of God in the teaching of Jesus.
Tomorrow, I will suggest some specific implications of praying for the kingdom of God to come in our lives. For now, let me encourage you to reflect on what it would mean if you lived every moment of this day—and every —day under the reign of God, seeking his glory and purposes in everything you do.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: When you pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come,” what do you mean? How do you understand the kingdom of God in the teaching of Jesus? Is it confusing to you? Does the notion of the kingdom as both present and future make sense to you? How might your life be different today if you lived consciously under the reign of God?
PRAYER: May your Kingdom come soon!
Yes, Heavenly Father, may your kingdom come soon. May your kingdom come, bringing your holy justice upon the earth. May you rule over all creation, allowing everything to flourish according to your providential intent. May the lion lie down with the lamb. May you wipe away every tear. May your glory extend to the ends of the earth. May every knee in heaven and earth bow before you. Yes, may your kingdom come!
May your kingdom come in my life today. Help me, Lord, to seek to honor you in every word, every thought, every action, every decision. May I express your love and justice in every relationship, at home and at work, in the community and in the fellowship of your people.
All praise be to you, O God, King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen.
Devotional Reflections for Holy Week
My blog is featuring a series of devotional reflections for Holy Week, based on a biblical version of the Stations of the Cross. You can find these devotions at my blog: http://www.patheos.com/community/markdroberts/.