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The Second Petition: Thy Kingdom Come

May 03, 2018

How’s your prayer life? Do you feel good about talking with God… BOLD and CONFIDENT as Martin Luther would say?  Or, is your prayer life somewhat dull and in need of an overhaul? I think we could all use help with prayer.  The Bible says, “God is an ever-present help.”  If that is true than our conversation with God could be 24/7.

 So… here we are again today to taking an in depth look at the Lord’s Prayer in order to enhance your prayer life. Today is the Second Petition!

The Second Petition:  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.

 Kings and Queens are things of the past… and in places where they still hold those titles (like England)… they are really only figure heads.  “KINGS” and “KINGDOMS” are the stuff of “Once Upon A Time” and story books.  No wonder we gloss over these words so quickly when we pray the Lord’s prayer.

“Thy Kingdom Come!”; what could that possibly do for me and my prayer life?  You would be surprised!  “Thy Kingdom Come” is timeless, and a very meaningful part of our relationship with God!

 I have three main points to make about this portion of the Lord’s Prayer today… and how it can truly benefit you as a prayer partner at Bethlehem.  First… “Seek the kingdom of God” and His righteousness.  Second… pray that God’s kingdom of GRACE (His Church) prosper and grow.  Last, pray that God’s heavenly, “eternal kingdom” come QUICKLY!

Want your prayer life to grow?  Then be a PRAYER SEEKER.  Our prayer life is defined by the things we want, or seek after the most!  What is the one thing we can desire, or seek after THIS VERY MINUTE and know God will grant it???  His Righteousness, or, in a word, FAITH!  So, we seek out the FAITH that we need to have the righteousness of God that we want which in turn shapes and molds our prayer life!  

In the words of Jesus, “Its not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick!”  Those who go before God demanding or expecting learn one thing about prayer.  And those who go to Him in humility and grace discover another thing about prayer.  

As Christians this “righteousness” we seek is not a work of our own.  It is a work of Christ done FOR us.  Seek Christ on the cross to forgive your sins!  Seek the resurrected, living Christ, to come into your heart and help you grow as His dear and true child.  As the Bible would put it… “Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord… and He will lift you up!”   I’ll say it again… “When righteousness and faith are the priority of your prayers… the rest of your prayer life with grow.”

 Jesus knew this. That’s why he said: “Don’t be so anxious about food and clothing and so forth.  But… rather… seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness… AND THEN… all these things will be added unto you!”

 If God loves you so much… that He would hang His Son on a cross in judgement for your sins… won’t he also have your best interest in mind FOR ALL THINGS!  And If God takes care of the birds and feeds them… and if God so beautifully clothes the flowers of the field–and you are much more valuable than they… why worry so much?

So… “Seek first the kingdom of God”.  Then, STOP, and let that sink in.  And after it’s dissolved down seep in your heart pray for the other things on your mind.

That leads me to my second point.  Pray for the Kingdom of Grace to Come here and now!  When you pray this you are truly praying for something special.  You are praying for something YOU CAN’T SEE.  It’s a faith kingdom only seen with the heart.  It’s a kingdom not of this world which is overcome with sin and death.  It’s a kingdom of Wisdom, healing, deliverance, forgiveness, life, salvation, righteousness–all bound up in God’s Son.

We also call this Kingdom “The Church on Earth”!  We know it’s here when it’s King is here!  That’s what Jesus meant when he said, “Whenever two or three of you are gathered in MY NAME… there I am in your midst!”   And we know its here whenever we hear the Word of the Bible offered up in preaching and teaching.  And whenever it lives in and through such things as Baptism, The Lord’s Supper and the fellowship of believers who offer up their prayer and praise in worship!

Which reminds me of that little discourse between Pilate and Jesus before he was sent to the cross.  You know the one, where Pilate asks Jesus about being a king???  Jesus’ reply to that was, “MY kingdom is not of this world.”  Pilate didn’t realize he was standing in the presence of the eternal, almighty King of Kings.  That’s because he couldn’t see Him as His Savior/King.  His heart was hard.  It rejected what Jesus said, and Pilate was a lost as a deer in headlights.  Too bad because Pilate could have been spared that infamous HAND WASHING, and had His heart cleansed instead. 

We would be lost apart from Christ’s presence in His Kingdom the Church... where Word and Sacrament ministry are found.  Our sins would condemn us.  Death would consume us.  Misery and despair would be our lot in life.  But Jesus came and redeemed us from all that… by His righteous life… atoning death… his victorious resurrection – So now when we pray “Thy kingdom come,” we are praying that these divine, blessed realities would be ours through His Kingdom of Grace.

 And not only that, but so much more.  We’re praying that we would get out of our pews, and beyond the safety of our homes, and share that Kingdom with Others!!!  You see the Second Petition of the Lord’s Prayer is a missionary prayer.  We’re praying that the reign of God would spread and expand throughout this fallen, sin-darkened world, and that we would be a part of that!

So when we pray “Thy kingdom come”, we’re praying for pastors, mission start-ups, congregations in places where Christianity is new, missionaries–for all who are engaged in the work of proclaiming and spreading the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.  “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Our prayer here is that: We open up our giving to missions, we would make it possible for the Word of Christ would be taken to places far off, and that each and everyone of us would share our love for Christ with a dying and faithless world.

But there’s another aspect to the coming of God’s kingdom, as well.  This we refer to usually as “the kingdom of glory.”  As the Bible would have it: “Our true citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await (pray) to be with our Savior there because He will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”  And so we pray that that Judgment day come… the final last day of this sin-laden and groaning world!  

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!” has been the prayer of many a Christian over the ages because the faithful know an important reality.  Its all over with the coming of Christ!!!  Some have said “Thy Kingdom Come” is a morbid, dark and gloomy prayer!  I don’t.  I don’t fear then Last Day.  I look forward to the day all creations desires. What we call “The new heaven and the new earth” where sin and the devil are finally put away forever!  In the Words of Revelation its called, “The New Jerusalem”.  A place where SEEKERS live as KEEPERS!  God dwelling with his people, in joyful and eternal fellowship.  This will be the kingdom of glory!  I pray it come soon.

Dear friends, let the Lord’s Prayer shape your mind and your thinking… as well as your heart.  Seek His righteousness.  Live out the Mission.  And know a day comes… with the return of Christ in the clouds… when your prayer will be complete.

We pray for this, expectantly, whenever we pray “Thy kingdom come.”

This week’s prayer helper:

  1. Look up: The Kingdom of God is Coming!  Christ promised He would return
  2. Look around:  The Kingdom of God is at work!  Jesus is present in His Word as its proclaimed and taught.  He is present in the waters of Baptism and in the Bread and Wine.  God is there when two or three are gathered in His name.  God is our ever-present help in need.
  3. Look back:  The Kingdom of God is on control!  Look back and see when God delivered you, fed you, clothed you, protected you.
  4. Look Forward:  The Kingdom of God needs you!  You are a gift of God at work to spread the kingdom in prayer, giving, serving and telling!  You are a missionary!
  5. Look inside: The Kingdom of God is within you by Faith!  You have received the Holy Spirit who helps you in prayer!

 



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