The Model Prayer (Part Four): Your Kingdom Come
Forerunner, "Bible Study," May 25, 2022
In the salutation to His Model Prayer, Jesus draws immediate attention to the Father’s divine nature and holiness (Matthew 6:9). His intention is to fix the petitioner’s mind on the preeminence and purity of Almighty God so
that the individual realizes his place within the relationship. The person who prays to the Father is a lowly supplicant seeking favor and help from the most high and holy God.
Jesus’ words in Matthew
6:10 continue this theme of God’s superiority. In English, “Your kingdom come” sounds like a request or desire for a future, divine government to establish righteous rule over this world. While this prophetic interpretation
is a correct view—and probably the most common one—it points to far more: God’s ultimate sovereignty. His rule is not limited to the future Kingdom that Jesus Christ will
bring with Him at His return but is a present reality, especially for those He has called into it in this age.
When added to the traits of divinity and holiness, God’s sovereignty completes a powerful triad
that both humbles and assures a petitioner before His throne. He has brought his requests before One who has the right, the character, and the authority to grant them, which sparks and sustains confidence—faith—that God will decide in his favor.
Every prayer reminds the child of God that he can trust his divine Sovereign to act in his best interests.
1. What does “the Kingdom of God” entail? Matthew
3:1-2; Mark 1:15.
Comment: Even before Christ’s ministry
began, the prophet John prepared the way for Jesus’ central message: “The kingdom of God is at hand!” Ironically,
the idea of a “Kingdom of God” was not new. It is the Old Testament’s core idea, for Israel was God’s Kingdom
on earth, the nation over which God ruled directly. John the Baptist’s cry in the wilderness signified a change in understanding that Jesus would explain throughout His ministry and inaugurate through His church.
The Greek word underlying “kingdom” is basileia (Strong’s #932), which means “a kingdom” or “a realm,” that is, the area or country that a king governs. However, it can also denote
“royal or kingly power, authority, dominion,” a king’s reign or rule, or even his royal dignity. So, it not only speaks of a king’s geographical domain, but it also refers to his authority and right to govern—in other words, his
The idea of the Kingdom of God, then, is not limited to a specific place or even a particular time. It is the reign or rule of God wherever and whenever it is in effect. Thus, the apostle
Paul can write in Colossians 1:13 that God’s converted people have already been “conveyed into the kingdom of the Son
of His love.” Jesus’ ministry proclaimed the good news of the coming of that Kingdom, but not just its culmination in the dim mists of the future. He announced that the Father was opening an entrance into that Kingdom immediately for a chosen few
(John 1:12-13; 6:35-40;
see Matthew 22:1-14). Those who responded positively to His call would come under Christ’s rule in this life (Luke
12:32; John 4:23-24; Acts
2:39; I Thessalonians 2:12; Hebrews
2. How extensive is God’s sovereignty? Psalm 145:13; Ephesians
Comment: There is no limit to the dominion and rule of God. Paul describes it in I
. . . He who is the blessed and only Potentate
[margin, Sovereign], the King
of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, who no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.
The God we
serve possesses all authority and power in the universe. No one stands above Him. Kings and other leaders of this world have their positions only at God’s leave (Daniel
4:17; Romans 13:1). While it may appear to an individual’s eyes that the
world is in chaos and evil men have seized control of events, the great Sovereign of the universe maintains His dominion over all things. He is bringing His plan to fruition despite the machinations of men and the seeming hopelessness of present
circumstances (Isaiah 46:10-11; 55:11; Ezekiel 12:25). We need never doubt His power and authority both to accomplish His grand purposes and provide for our relatively inconsequential
3. If God’s Kingdom will be established through His inevitable sovereignty, why must we pray for it to come? Hebrews
Comment: When a converted person prays, “Your kingdom come,” he confesses his hope to God, voicing his desire for God’s direct rule, which he shares with
the undisputed Lord over all things. In this way, he comes into a unity of purpose with Him and asks God to continue accomplishing His purpose, not only in him but also in others whom He will call and prepare for the same goal (see I
Timothy 2:3-4; Romans 10:1). As the author of Hebrews suggests, this expression of solidarity with God’s purpose is founded
on the sure reality of His faithfulness (see I Corinthians 1:7-9).
This petition also requests
that God move world events toward the return of Christ to establish His Kingdom on earth. In this way, the petitioner
expresses his desire for the dissolution of this current, evil, anti-God system and the arrival of goodness and peace for
all. This is the sense of the first-century Christian cry, “Maranatha!” an Aramaic term that means “O Lord, come!” (I
Corinthians 16:22; see Revelation 22:20).
It calls out for
the end of humanity’s sins and miseries and the beginning of a new world where God dwells with men and all the faithful have entered the joy of
the Lord (see Revelation 21:3-5; Matthew