May "our kingdom" come ...

(BE TRANSFORMED - BODY, SOUL AND SPIRIT)

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Sunday: 11:00am/6:30pm Wednesday: Prayer 7:30pm  

Gregg Street, Lisburn, BT27 5AW

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them the greatest model of prayer. He started by saying : 

“Our Father in heaven” 

The focus of our prayers should be our relationship with God. He is our Father and we are His children. 

“May your name be kept holy” 

God’s name is important because His name is the perfect description of who He is - He is holy. 

“May your kingdom come soon” 

Our deepest desire and our first request is for God’s kingdom to become a reality. 

“May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” 

God’s perfect will is what should rule over us. Not our will but His. This is a difficult prayer to pray as it is natural to want our will to prevail. 

I find these opening lines in “The Lord’s Prayer “quite astonishing , especially the line concerning His kingdom.

I find it interesting, because it reminds me of the time Jesus came preaching the establishment of His kingdom. In Luke 17 vs. 20, the Pharisees asked Jesus: “When will the kingdom of God come?” His answer, I’m sure staggered them: “The kingdom of God is already among you!”

Wow! This means God’s kingdom is not something that belongs to the future, it is a present reality. That is why we should focus more on making sure His kingdom is becoming more visible to people by preaching the Good News.

But what if, instead of seeking God’s kingdom, we shift toward a desire to build our own kingdom.

Does this sound surprising? The disciples, who were still learning, seemed very preoccupied with the establishment of their own kingdom, which was reflected in a certain political understanding. They also had their own expectations of Messiah.  

In Acts 1, just before the ascension of Jesus, the disciples revealed their true desire and thinking concerning the kingdom. In verse 6 we find them asking Jesus: “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

The disciples had turned Israel and their national freedom into a very personal agenda. Their misunderstanding of Jesus’s plan makes them believe that somehow, Jesus will become a political activist  and therefore chase the Romans out, restoring their kingdom.

How wrong they were! Jerusalem would be burned in 70 AD and the nation would not find its national identity until 1947.

We could so easily fall into the same trap. We could easily misuse Jesus for the interests of our own kingdom or at least our personal understanding of what God’s kingdom should be. 

The only antidote to this, is to simply pray and pray and continue to pray : “Let your kingdom come, Let your will be done.” 


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