The Lord’s Prayer, Part 3 of 6

Published by DonDavidson on

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

As we work our way through what we call The Lord’s Prayer, two weeks ago we talked about the opening, “Our Father,” and last week we covered the phrases that follow it: “who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.”

Now we come to Matthew 6:10, which says:

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

We are to pray that God’s kingdom would come, but what is God’s kingdom? It’s a fair question, because there are at least 50 references to the “kingdom of God” in the Gospels, and the meaning of this phrase is not entirely clear.

Some verses talk about the kingdom of God as if it is a present reality, as in Mark 1:14-15:[1]

Now after John was taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Other verses refer to the kingdom of God as if it were coming sometime in the future, like Luke 22:15-18:[2]

And He [Jesus] said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.”

Then there are verses that seem to say that the kingdom of God is simply something that must be preached, like Luke 4:42-43:[3]

Now when day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and they came to Him and tried to keep Him from leaving them. But He said to them, “I must also preach the kingdom of God to the other cities, because I was sent for this purpose.”

Whatever else God’s kingdom may be, I am certain that it involves people doing the two most important things Jesus told us to do: love God and love people.[4] So when we pray that God’s kingdom would come, we are praying—at a minimum—that everyone would come to know and love God as we do, and that we would all learn to love others the way God loves us.

The second phrase—“Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven”—is much easier to understand. What is God’s will? In other words, what does God desire would happen here on earth? Micah 6:8 makes it pretty simple:

And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

This is just another way of saying that God wants us to love him and love each other. That is what happens in Heaven, and we are to pray that the same would happen here on earth.

Link to Part 4

[1]. Other examples include: Matthew 12:28, Matthew 21:43, Mark 4:11, Mark 10:13-15, Mark 12:32-34, Luke 6:20, Luke 8:10, Luke 10:8-11, Luke 11:20, Luke 17:20-21, Luke 18:16-17, John 3:3, and John 3:5.

[2]. Other examples include: Matthew 19:24, Matthew 21:31, Mark 9:1, Mark 10:23-25, Mark 15:43, Luke 9:27. Luke 13:28-29, Luke 14:14-15, Luke 18:24-25, Luke 18:29-30, Luke 19:11. Luke 21:29-32, Luke 23:50-52.

[3]. Other examples include: Luke 9:2, Luke 9:11, Luke 9:60, Luke 16:16-17.

[4]. See Matthew 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-34, and Luke 10:25-27.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *