God has a kingdom; He is a King! The King is coming again. What is this kingdom like? The Jews rejected Jesus Christ because He claimed to be the Promised One, their Savior, and yet refused to lead a revolution against Rome. They thought God’s kingdom included a political one on earth. God’s kingdom includes His work of creation, providence, and redemption. God rules over all creation in His providential care. He holds everything together; He works all things out for His glory and the good of the universal church. So it is not that kingdom we are praying to come. This work is always going on.
Instead, in this second petition, we pray “for the establishment and increase of His rule in our hearts now and in eternity (Watson, p. 59, “The Lord’s Prayer”). It is a plea that His kingdom of grace may come to us and/or increase, and that His eternal Kingdom in glory may come quickly. Sin is a merciless tyrant; we are its slaves. Grace, unmerited favor, opens the heart and slays that dragon. We repent, turn from our sin, and rejoice in the victory of Christ Jesus. Pray that this kingdom of grace will increase; that salvation will come to many from all nations. When we pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” we ask for the defeat of idols, of false religions, of addictive sins. How wonderful is a world where God’s kingdom of grace is constantly increasing?
We also are praying that the Kingdom of glory will come in, the eternal Kingdom promised to all believers where the streets are gold, no tears fall, pain and suffering and death have disappeared. John prayed, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus” to judge the earth and to establish this kingdom which will be glorious beyond our every imagination. If creation is so glorious and redemption so liberating, imagine the wonder of this eternal kingdom. Our prayer is that it come soon. We long to see Him face-to-face, and sing with Anne Cousin and Samuel Rutherford,
Oh! I am my Beloved’s
And my Beloved’s mine!
He brings a poor vile sinner
Into His ‘house of wine.’
I stand upon His merit.
I know no other stand.
Not e’en where glory dwelleth
In Immanuel’s Land!
The bride eyes not her garment,
But her dear Bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory,
But on my King of Grace–
Not at the crown He giveth,
But on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory
Of Immanuel’s land.
Pray that His Kingdom will come….that grace will increase in each of us, and in hearts all over the world. Then that His eternal Kingdom will be established soon.
Teens and young adults, praying like this will help you to remember that this world is not all there is! God’s invisible kingdom of grace is very real. He shows favor to some by opening their hearts and minds to the gospel. He can do that for you and your friends. His glorious kingdom in eternity is real too–a time when you can adore the KING and fly off to serve Him when He asks. It will be even more exciting than your life now. Pray “Thy Kingdom come….”