“Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” — Matthew 6:10 (NASB95)
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. After stating two “do-nots” (don’t pray in public to be seen by people and don’t try to impress God with your many words), Jesus told them how to pray by providing them an actual prayer, a prayer made up of seven petitions. The prayer itself tells us quite a bit about the kingdom of heaven. Jesus tells us to pray to God as “Father.” Note the intimacy God seeks from us. I certainly understand Jesus calling God “Father,” but us? Being able to call God Father makes our God and His kingdom different from any other religion in the world.
The second and third petition are stated in the verse we are looking at today. “Your kingdom come.” Although God’s kingdom is separated from our earthly kingdom, that separation is not complete or permanent. Even after the fall, God enters the earthly kingdom. He does it through His Word, His sacraments, His prophets, and His Son. Jesus tells us to pray that God’s kingdom come. In this petition we are praying that God’s kingdom continues to come through His Word to touch the lives of people living in this earthly kingdom. We pray that the Word of God gives strength to all believers who strive to live in this world but not be of it. We also pray that His Word continues to add new residents to His kingdom by causing them to be born again. We also pray that His kingdom comes in its finality. We pray that God will finally come and end this sinful worldly kingdom and permanently bring His kingdom of glory and grace. This petition is not a wish, but a certainty. So, last, we pray in this petition that we are always active participants in God’s kingdom.
Note how the third petition encompasses the second. In the third petition we pray that God’s will be done on earth and heaven. We pray that ultimately God’s kingdom of grace works its will on this earth as long as it must exist and until the new heaven and new earth are brought forth.
It only seems right that God’s kingdom would be a central point in our daily prayer life.