Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Second Petition of the Lord\'s Prayer

March 14 - Thy kingdom come.
What does this mean? The kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come to us also.

How does God’s kingdom come? God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity.

Devotion:
The Kingdom of God.  In Matthew and Mark’s Gospel, the first words out of Jesus’ mouth is that the time has come, repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.

God’s kingdom is how he rules.  It is how God interacts with the world.  Now, God’s kingdom needs no prayer to come.  Through the work of Jesus, God is bringing it.  Jesus himself is the king of God’s kingdom.  And he will stop at nothing to bring it.   So no, God is not waiting for the correct amount of people to pray for his kingdom to come.  It is coming.  Whether you want it to or not.  

In this prayer, the real question becomes, ‘When God sends his kingdom and brings it, will I be included in God’s reign?’  Simply put, this prayer is us asking, “When you send your kingdom, I want to be a citizen of your kingdom.”  We desire to participate in God’s kingdom.
 
In God’s kingdom there is peace, wholeness, holiness, righteousness, goodness, health, protection, and security.   It is a place of bliss and true joy through Jesus.

Sign me up.
 
And so, like children, we beg our Heavenly Father to grant this to us.  And how does God grant to us his kingdom?  He does so in two ways.

First, he grants it here in time.  His kingdom is not some far off future reality.  It is happening here and now.  When Jesus says that the kingdom of God is near, he is talking about the kingdom of God being in His person.  Jesus says this right after his baptism, where he is given the Holy Spirit.  To be a member of God’s kingdom, one must have the Holy Spirit.  So again, we are asking for God to grant us his Holy Spirit.
 
He does this through the Sacraments.  Baptism and the Lord’s Supper is where God equips you with the Holy Spirit and makes us members of his Son, Jesus Christ.  This is happening now.  You are a citizen of the kingdom of God right now by faith!

But this will also happen in eternity.  The last day is coming, and Jesus will usher in the final reign and rule of God upon the earth.  God’s kingdom is coming and so we look forward to what we will have by sight on the last day by gripping onto with hope what Jesus has given to us now by faith.
 
When God grants us his Holy Spirit now, we are able to keep God’s name holy.  Each petition of the Lord’s Prayer builds off of the one previously.  Here we see again how this petition is fulfilled by praying for the Holy Spirit, who grafts us onto Jesus and then delivers us to the Father.
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