Our church is currently walking through a sermon series on "prayer" . In each of our studies on prayer, we started with a basic statement of affirmation... a reason for prayer. Here it is -
I pray to God to know Him, to lay my requests before Him to find direction for my daily life.
Most recently, we focused on the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:9-10 -
"YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN."
These are powerful words that sometimes get lost in the mindless rhythm of quoting this prayer... Is this just a longing for a future time when God will rule and reign? Is it to be prayed so that God would right all the wrongs in others? Or is there more to this prayer?
I believe it all hinges on our understanding of "The Kingdom of God"!
So...What is it? What is the Kingdom of God? There are over 100 references to the Kingdom of God in the New Testament in 16 different NT Books (That's over half the books in the NT!) In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 to seek the Kingdom FIRST! So if our Savior Himself said that the Kingdom of God is of first order priority and there are so many references to the Kingdom...we better give this one some attention.
First, a definition of "The Kingdom of God" is in order... In simple terms, the Kingdom of God is the RANGE of His RULE. It is the expanse of His sovereignty and is found wherever people are submitted to Him...
Put another way, Imagine everything that God desires to happen actually happening - the time, place, and reality when all He desires is what we experience. That's God's Kingdom!
There are two distinct difficulties that we face in understanding the Kingdom of God...
First, because we live in a Republic, we don't think in terms of a King or a Kingdom...
This leads us to generally think of a kingdom only as a geographic location:
Secondly, we understand that there are great promises about the future and God's Kingdom...but we lose sight of what the Kingdom means right here and now! We must think of the Kingdom of God both as having already been established (Mark 1:15- a "now" element) and not yet consummated (still "yet to be")
The Kingdom of God is NOW but NOT YET. The Kingdom of God is HERE and the Kingdom is NEAR and we find ourselves living between the times... between the Kingdom that Jesus initiated and the ultimate Kingdom that Jesus will consummate!
In this in-between time, we must submit ourselves to the will of God, asking for His will to be done in our own lives day by day!
What are some specific ways you can pray for the Kingdom of God to break into your life everyday?
Christ-follower, husband, dad, friend & the Senior Pastor of Hardy Street Baptist Church.