Jesus taught his disciples to pray Thy kingdom come when he taught them The Lord’s Prayer. To understand the meaning and purpose of it, we must examine what Jesus meant when He instructed them to say, “thy kingdom come”!
To begin, let us look at the meaning of the word ‘kingdom’. It comes from the Greek word ‘basileia,’ which means ‘royal palace.’
God owns everything (Deuteronomy 10:14), and His Kingdom is everywhere. Although the devil is the temporary ruler or prince of the earth, God eternally rules it (Ephesians 2:2).
Will there ever be an end to the Kingdom of God? Why pray for the coming of the Kingdom? To understand this and how it applies to different areas of our lives and community, let us dig deeper into it.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PRAY, ‘THY KINGDOM COME?’
When the Lord asks us to pray for His Kingdom to come in our lives, He wants to pray for the will of God in our lives.
He wants us to be obedient and humble and to walk in His ways. We cannot live the Christian life in the flesh. It simply is impossible.
The standards set by Jesus just make it a struggle for us, but the good news is that we have the Holy Spirit, who is our Helper and Guide.
We can live out the will and purpose of God in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. Yes, we can live up to the standards of God because we have help from Him.
The Second Advent of Christ And His Request to Pray – Thy Kingdom Come!
Another reason Christ asks us to pray, ‘thy kingdom come,’ is for us to prepare and pray for the Second coming of Christ.
The earth has many rulers, and kingdoms come and go. Rulers die, but God reigns forever. There was no beginning to His Kingdom, and there will be no end to it either (Psalm 90:2).
The Bible refers to Jesus in 1 Timothy 6:15 as, “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.”
His throne is the highest, and His rule is eternal. So even though each country sees many Presidents, Prime Ministers, Rulers, and Politicians, God is ultimately their Ruler.
This Is an Invitation to God!
When we pray ‘thy Kingdom come,’ we’re inviting the rule of God into our personal lives.
We must also invite Him to rule over our family lives, neighborhood, community, and the lives of our friends and loved ones.
Another point to remember here is that asking God for His will isn’t something that will just happen. It only happens through having a consistent relationship with God and through prayer.
We need to travail in our prayers. We need to ask until the Lord leads us into His will and confirms it to us.
The Kingdom of God Is Coming
When the fall occurred, sin crept into the world. It severed the unique relationship between man and God. This was a direct consequence of the fall.
God couldn’t dwell with the filth that came with sin because He is perfectly Holy and Righteous.
But, the physical Kingdom of God is yet to come. One day, when Christ comes back, we will have a physical manifestation of the Kingdom of God here on earth.
Christ Prays – Thy Kingdom Come!
This is another thing Christ meant when He spoke of praying for the Kingdom of God. If we will go back to the original design of God, and examine it, we shall find God and man dwelling together forever.
We will live with our God forever and ever, as seen in Revelation 11:15.
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.”
The future is beautiful and filled with hope. Hence, we need to pray this prayer.
The Kingdom of God and the church are one and the same, to put it in a certain way.
There is no separating God’s Kingdom from His church. We are the hands and feet of God. He calls us to live out His plans and purposes in this world.
BACK TO THE BASICS: GOD AND HIS KINGDOM
To look at God’s Kingdom, we need to talk about David’s story. David was known as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).
He wanted to build a physical dwelling place for God, but God had something else in mind. Let us look at 2 Samuel 7:12-16 to understand this covenant.
“When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his Kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his Kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your Kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.”
The Kingdom of God & The Throne of David
Here, God is talking about an eternal Kingdom. He tells David that He would establish his (David’s) throne forever.
God is referring to Christ here; Christ was from the line of David and the seed referred to in the above verse.
The covenant made here isn’t a conditional one; it began with Solomon, the son of David, and goes on to Christ, who will reign forever.
To the Israelites, the promise was a literal one; they didn’t understand the actual and full meaning of this promise.
They expected a King who would establish a physical kingdom and save them from the oppression of the Romans. Hence, they rejected Christ.
They didn’t expect Christ to come, die, rise from the dead, and go back to heaven.
Put God In a Box!
The Bible says, in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
He doesn’t work according to our understanding; we can never put God in a box.
During His first coming, Christ came to die. He came as a sacrificial lamb; He came to suffer and make a way for us all.
Christ came to fulfill all the prophecies written about Him. He was the suffering Servant. He came to atone for our sins.
Now, when we consider His second coming, He will come as a lion. He’s coming to reign over all beings; He’s coming to judge all the people of the world according to their deeds.
It’s terrifying, really! His second coming will establish a physical and spiritual Kingdom.
So we’ve seen the two stages of the Kingdom of God. The first was a spiritual Kingdom that had already been established through Christ’s sacrifice.
The future of the Kingdom of God will be physical when Christ comes and sets up His heavenly Kingdom here on earth.
We’re praying for the coming of this Kingdom; we’re praying to be prepared when the time comes. We’re praying for souls to come to the Kingdom of God.
THE PRAYER LIFE OF JESUS
Jesus was a man of prayer; He prayed His way through His earthly life. He is still continuing to intercede and pray for us today (Hebrews 7:25).
What does Jesus’ earthly prayer life have to do with the prayer ‘thy Kingdom come?’ In short, everything.
The first coming of Christ began a whole chain of events, which will conclude with His second coming. His first coming brought about the spiritual Kingdom of God, as we’ve seen above.
Before He went to the cross, Christ’s prayer to the Father was, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will (Matthew 26:39).”
Even though it was hard for Him, Christ prayed for the will of God. Here, God’s will was His death. Imagine praying such a prayer, knowing that your death has already been sealed.
As He prayed for God’s will, Christ was completely surrendering to the Father and letting His Kingdom come.
Jesus Obeyed God!
We’re called to pray for His will and obey Him no matter how hard it gets. The Christian faith isn’t free of persecution.
In fact, it is filled with persecution. But following God’s will is never going to be easy, but He calls us to live in the light.
Well, His will is in His Word, the Scriptures. So we must make it a habit to read His Word every single day. Unless we read the Bible regularly and pray, we cannot discern the will of God.
The world we live in has a lot of noise, so we must learn to shut ourselves in with God and shut out the world.
We’ve seen what Jesus meant when He told His disciples to pray, ‘thy Kingdom come.’ We’ve also seen what this means for believers.
The Lord calls us to live our lives under the will of God. Everything is perfect and safe under His will. No, it’s never going to be easy, but it is worth it!
We need to pray, ‘thy Kingdom come’ daily. Christians should yearn for the eternal and spiritual Kingdom of God. There was never a beginning to God’s Kingdom because He has existed since eternity.
Similarly, there is no end to His Kingdom. Yes, we will rule with Christ forever and ever. This is our hope. Amen!