Welcome to another edition of the Pastor’s Pen blog. Recently, Pastor Paige started a new sermon series in which we will be going through the Lord’s prayer. This week, I will be preaching on the second part of this prayer that we find in Matthew 6:10 “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” As we get ready to open the word together this Sunday, I would like to offer some preliminary thoughts on this topic to prepare our hearts and help us to focus on what Jesus is saying here.  

If we are going to understand what it means to pray “your kingdom come,” we have to first wrap our heads around what the kingdom is. The kingdom of God is one of the most misunderstood doctrines of the Bible. I don’t know about you but growing up I used to always think that the kingdom of God and heaven were one and the same, that God sat on his throne in a distant place far removed from any of us and this kingdom is not attainable until we pass away. But in reality the kingdom is much broader than that. Yes, the kingdom includes heaven, but it is also, as one author defined it “God’s redemptive presence coming down from heaven to earth.” The Kingdom of God is his reign and rule. It is his rule that is made accessible to us through Jesus, who invites us to enter into this kingdom life now. So, when Jesus instructs us to pray “Your kingdom come,” he is not saying that we should pray for his kingdom to be revealed, because it is already here. Rather, he is instructing us to pray that the kingdom of God would take over our lives. We have all set up for ourselves our own kingdoms, our own way of living life in our flesh. So, we are to pray that God would displace the kingdoms we have set up for ourselves and that his kingdom would rule in our hearts, our marriages, our families, our jobs, and in our social world.  

The second part of this verse is “your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Think for a moment about how the will of the Lord is done in heaven. Psalm 103:20 says, “Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!” In heaven, the will of the Lord is done perfectly. Whatever God wills in heaven is done with ready obedience and submission, and everything that God decrees comes to pass. But in our own lives here on earth, how often do we reject the will of the Lord for our own will? In our prayers, we pray for our will to be done, we often ask God for what we want to have happen or what we think should happen to come to fruition. To pray “Your will be done” is to pray that the Lord’s will, not yours, will be done in your life and that you would be obedient to whatever it is that he is asking you to do. Think about how Jesus prayed in Matthew 26, when he was in the garden right before he was arrested: “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” The cross was pure torture, yet Jesus knew that it was the will of the Lord for him to die, so he obeyed and endured the cross for us. If we are praying for the kingdom to rule in our lives, then sometimes the Lord will ask us to do things that are antithetical to our own personal will. But we must be obedient, because when we are obedient to his will and we do as he says, we will experience the power of the kingdom manifested in our lives and encounter the Lord in a fresh and new way. He will lead us through the valley of the shadow of death and empower us to do whatever he has called us to do, and we will experience a way of living that is far better than life lived in our strength.