The Lord’s Prayer – Your Kingdom Come

(Jesus said…) “This, then, is how you should pray:

9 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”  – Mt 6:9-13, NIV

Meditation

After seeing how Israel’s leaders prayed through uncertainty, I choose to pray differently in this season of doubt, ambiguity and insecurity.  How?  I marinate (meditate?) on God’s character in prayer.  In quiet moments, I immerse myself in God’s names and nature. 

As I pray, “Thy Kingdom come”, I recall the Jewish title, Adonai (Gen 15:2).  Adonai, used to describe Him 434 times, emphasizes Our Father as Lord, Master and Owner.  He rules over His creation.  He is the master potter.  We are His clay (Jer 18).  He is our maker, master and the Lord above all presumed authority(s). Aromas emerge as I marinate on His Lordship.  There is a pleasing fragrance of committed Kingdom citizens who accept His reign.  Unfortunately, there is the scent of rebellious subjects who, with defiant pride, reject His authority and power.  

As I pray, “Thy Kingdom come”, I picture the Jewish label, Elohim (Gen 1:1), also.  Elohim, used to portray Him 2599 times, focuses on Him as Majestic Ruler Over All.  Elohim governs everything created. Adonai is about Our Father’s rite to rule. Elohim is about the plural nature of His governance. This is our first hint that God redeems and restores His fallen creation as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  

Application

Two millennia later, I don’t presume to read Jesus’ thoughts as He taught His disciples to pray.  However, as a Jew, Jesus understood that different monikers were autographs of the Father’s faithfulness in history.  For me, as I marinate this prayer with these reminders, signature flavors become robust.  When I proclaim, “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”

I proclaim God’s regal nature as Adonai. He is Lord above every presumed authority.  I see Adonai ruling a Kingdom divided.  The Kingdom subjects are both obedient and disobedient.  Despite my obedience or disobedience, Adonai’s Kingdom will come. Whether I ask for it, or not, nothing can thwart His plan.  He is Lord of Lords. So my petition is for Our Father to make me a willing, obedient and faithful worker as it unfolds.  But I cannot do this by myself.

I declare the redemptive power of Elohim. He is Majestic Ruler of His Kingdom. Yes, Adonai’s Kingdom is inevitable! Yes, I want His purpose and plan to be mine as well.  However, I cannot. I live in fallen disobedience. I am an alien in a Kingdom that demands perfect faith and action. This is where focusing on Elohim (plural) sheds a double blessing. We see how the Triune God governs His fallen creation.  Elohim, the Son, redeems sinners to make them Kingdom citizens.  Elohim, the Spirit, empowers sinners for Kingdom service in ways that God perfectly intended.

Next Steps

Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformation who nailed 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Church door in 1517, taught about Lord’s Prayer.  In his famous, Small Catechism[1], he taught his children that God’s Kingdom comes without our asking but we pray to be part of that Kingdom and reflect that Kingdom to other believers and the world at-large.

Today, I’ll pray…

9 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 Restore, O Lord of Lords, your reign and rule to this renegade planet.  By the Son, redeem me.  By the Spirit, restore me.  Create a Kingdom heart for service within me.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”  – Mt 6:9-13, NIV

[1] Luther, Martin, The Small Catechism (Wittenberg, Germany, 1529). Trans Henry Eyster Jacobs, DD, LLD, SysTD., Philadelphia, PA, 1911.