“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
The Health Benefits of Faith
Jesus just wants the best for us. So he gave us the Lord’s Prayer. You could be saying , “I don’t see the link between those two statements.” There are Christians who see prayer only as a ritual activity. I struggled to understand the relevance of prayer to the rest of my life until I read something in TIME Magazine. The copy was titled “How to Live Longer and Better.” (Time February 26, 2018 How To Live Longer Better). And right on the front cover it said, “Pray! The Health Benefits of Faith”.
Inside, there was an article describing the extraordinary power of prayer, even citing a number of medical studies.
Prayer has been shown to be powerful, in at least one way. It triggers the relaxation response, a state of mind-body rest that has been shown to decrease stress, heart rate and blood pressure; alleviate chronic disease symptoms; and even change gene expression. (Time Magazine Feb 2018, P73)
Throughout the course of the sermon on the mount Jesus mentions a number of issues that are worthy of our attention. One such topic was that of prayer and how we should do it. When our Lord taught us how to pray to the heavenly father, he told us to say, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). For years, many of us have repeated these sentences, but do we truly comprehend what Jesus meant?
Your Kingdom Come
Throughout scripture the word kingdom is never used lightly. The word is mentioned over 103 times in the gospels. ‘Your Kingdom come’ is the central petition in the Lord’s prayer because the kingdom is the core message of Jesus. There are two notions expounded by the kingdom. One is a present possibility and the other is a future reality. In Matthew 10:7 and Luke 17:21, Jesus told his disciples, the kingdom of God had come near and that it was in their midst.
This is the reason Jesus went about inviting others to join in. He cautioned that the wealthy would have a difficult time getting in. It would be challenging for the respectable. And it would be nearly hard for the religious. However, anyone who acknowledges their sin easily joins. For anyone who humbles himself like a child and is prepared to begin afresh is accepted into God’s kingdom.
The kingdom also represents a future reality. The kingdom will come when its king arrives. Jesus will physically return one day to set up a physical kingdom. He will be the last king of all history. And then the words on Isaiah wall of the United Nations Building in New York will be fulfilled.
“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
War in Afghanistan will stop. School shootings will come to a standstill and there will be global peace.
Therefore, To pray “your kingdom come,” we are asking Jesus to take up home in our hearts. It is a petition for salvation and kingdom citizenship. Jesus wants us to understand the significance of his kingdom, so he uses powerful imagery to express it. At one point he said that this kingdom is like a rare jewel. Because it is so valuable, it is worth selling all we own to obtain it. Jesus compared his kingdom to a mustard seed. It may be modest today, but it is rapidly expanding.
Your Will Be Done
The second thing mentioned in the petition is ‘Your will be done’. Praying for God’s will to be done is brave. It is asking that we should be able to stand up for God even during situations we wish we didn’t. The surrender to do what pleases God regardless of the social, physiological and physical consequences. So, then how do we grasp what God’s will is.
- Discover the principles of the word. Since God’s word shares in the unchanging nature of God, we can bet on it.
- Listening to the promptings and instructions of the Holy Spirit.
- Observing the providence of what God does.
- Reaching out to mature brethren when we feel stuck.
Your Will Be Done Here On Earth As It Is In Heaven
The final phrase Jesus used expands and explains the two we have handled previously. How wonderful would it be if things happened here on earth in the same way they do in heaven. Think about the obedience of angels to the will of God.
In the 17th century, Thomas Watson, a Puritan preacher in London penned a 300-page book on the topic of the Lord’s Prayer. His handling of the request “Your kingdom come” struck me as particularly excellent. Watson argues that it is impossible to have a kingdom without a king. Therefore, we cannot pray to God with the words “Your kingdom come” without first accepting that God is a king.
Our God is a king who reigns from a holy throne. His name, “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS,” is written on his robe. (Revelation 19:16). It is a tremendous privilege to serve such a king. The angels are well aware of this, which is why they deliver his messages so quickly. We are very lucky to belong to the King of Heaven. Because God is such a wonderful ruler, we can entirely trust him because all authority is his.
However, we must also recognize that when we pray for God’s kingdom to come and for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, this starts with each and every one of us. We must examine whether we are honouring God’s name. We must question whether our actions are carrying out God’s will. As Believers, who profess to be surrendered to Christ’s lordship. He already reigns as our King, and we are subjects in His realm. But are we loyal subjects? Or are we defiant? If we are to pray in the manner prescribed by our Lord, we must also live in the manner prescribed by our Lord.
King James Version (KJV)
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
New International Version (NIV)
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
May your kingdom come.
May your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven
New American Bible (NASB)
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
English Standard Version (ESV)
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
The Living Bible (TLB)
We ask that your kingdom will come now. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven