This post is our third in a series of blogs encouraging the church during our PRAY40 initiative beginning on March 1st through April 9th. Join us each week in prayer on Wednesday nights and download our mobile app to receive daily prayer updates as we seek God together in prayer this spring.
So far we have looked at the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 as Jesus’ model for prayer to shape how we approach God as our Father who is to be set apart and honored as Holy. This week, reflect on the next phrase of the Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” This isn’t language that our culture uses every day. So what does this phrase mean? How do we apply it to our prayer lives?
Your Kingdom Come!
As our Savior, Jesus did not work on His own toward His own purposes and ideas. He desired that His Father’s Kingdom would be established and that heaven’s glory and truth would come to manifest itself on earth. When we begin our prayer with this mindset, we look beyond our own desires or plans and acknowledge the value of God’s kingdom above all other things.
We often approach God asking Him to take care of our concerns or make our plans successful; but by doing that, we miss out on God’s bigger purpose. Instead we should make it our prayer that His glory would be seen on the earth. The point Jesus teaches us here is to continually set our minds above our earthly plans and into God’s heavenly purposes. We often become so entirely focused on the temporary things of our day to day that we fail to live in light of eternity, and this prayer keeps us focused.
Can we admit that when our lives are comfortable, we begin to lose our yearning for God’s kingdom to come? We can be so content within our own kingdoms that we never fully surrender them to the Father. Don’t be content to have God be a part of your story; instead, commit your life to play a role in His story. To pray that God’s “will be done” means that we are praying with the intent of being his disciples and committing Him as the Lord over our hopes and dreams.
We see all of this played out powerfully when Jesus is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane in Luke 22:42. There, in the shadow of the Cross, he prays: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” This is not Jesus casually tacking on an expression to the end of His prayer. This is authentic abandonment to the will of the Father, even to the point of death on a cross.
in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul! (Psalm 103:19-22)