“May your kingdom come; may your will come to pass, as in heaven, so too on earth.”
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
(Matthew 6:10, KJV)
We now move to the second and third of the three petitions that we pray with an aim toward God’s glory. Both of these petitions begin with an imperative (may it come and may it be done). In Greek, when imperatives are used in this way, they place stress upon the request that is being made, but do so in a polite way (i.e. it is not a command). In other words, the force of this request is found in the heartfelt desire that God fulfill these requests.
The first of these requests is that God’s kingdom come. We must understand what we are praying for here. God’s kingdom was inaugurated in the earthly ministry of Christ (Mark 1:15), yet, the fullness of God’s kingdom will not come until the full number of elect from every tribe and nation are gathered into the kingdom and Christ comes again. Right now, we are somewhere in the middle, in the tension between what has already happened and what is yet to come (theologians cleverly call this “the already and the not-yet” J).
Thus, when we pray for God’s kingdom to come, we are not praying for what has already happened, but we are praying for what has yet to come—namely the second coming of Christ. Friends, for some of us, this is a dangerous prayer, for while I am ready to see my Lord and Savior return, there are many, many people I care about that are definitely not ready for such a thing to happen. For me, Christ’s return means redemption from this fallen state into a glorified body that will know no sin and spend eternity in the presence with Christ himself. For those who are not ready, Christ’s return means judgment and eternal condemnation.
Friends, make sure that when you are praying this prayer, you understand fully for what you are praying. At the same time, as Jesus has not yet returned, make good use of the opportunities you have to share the gospel with those you are in contact with. Find others who do not know the Lord in a personal and saving way and share the gospel with them as well. Ultimately it is the Holy Spirit that brings someone to faith or not, but if you don’t take the gospel to them, they will not hear the words of life.