Pray Like This…. [part 3]
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’ Matthew 6:9-13
This is possibly the most well known pray in the world. People have said this single prayer, possibly every day since Jesus instructed them in it 2000 years ago. But instead of simply memorizing and repeat it, what if we were to cut it apart into its simple statements and examine them?
There are 9 distinct thoughts expressed here:
1. Our Father in Heaven
2. Hallowed be Your Name
3. Your Kingdom Come
4. Your Will be Done
5. On Earth as it is in Heaven
6. Daily Bread
Now obviously it would be a very long post if we looked at each one of these, so instead I want to divide it into sections. Last time we discussed, “Hallowed Be Your Name” Let’s continue on.
YOUR KINGDOM COME:
In our prayer, we began with worshiping God, and we still haven’t reached the point fo asking for our needs. Instead, we are praying about the Kingdom of God. When Jesus told us to pray this, he wasn’t just meaning it as kind words, but as a serious challenge. Do we really believe that the Kingdom of God can be made manifest on the earth?
Later in this same chapter, Jesus continues his teaching on Kingdom and says something very interesting.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. ”
This verse is a great example of this prayer in action. Jesus is telling us to seek the kingdom, because if we seek the kingdom and righteousness, then the rest is added to us. Why is this important? Its simple, its about putting God first above ourselves. In our society, we have a million things we put ahead of God. Some people put their job first, others their family, and some themselves. But Jesus never acted this way, instead He followed His own advice and established the kingdom.
Jesus devoted His life to the kingdom of God. He gave everything He had to see it happen. He expects the same from us. In chapter 11 of Matthew, Jesus explains a bit more about the kingdom.
“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. ”
See, the prayer to establish the Kingdom is not a passive thing, but active. The Kingdom is forcefully advancing, and we as God’s people are called to be the ones carrying it forward. If we put our own desires ahead of the Kingdom of God and the eternal purposes of our Father, we are missing the point, and in the end we are being selfish. Jesus continues to share about the kingdom in Matthew chapter 7.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. ”
Jesus takes the business of the Kingdom very seriously. He even talks about kingdom business in correlation with our place in Heaven. Its important to keep the Kingdom at the forefront of our mind. Not that our salvation depends on it, but because Jesus takes it seriously. If it is important to Him, then it should be important to us as well. So when you pray, pray that the Kingdom would come. Be looking this week as we will continue to discuss the Model for Prayer we find in Matthew.