Kingdom Come (Lord’s Prayer) – Jeremy Austill

Thy Kingdom come, Thy
will be done in earth, as it is in heaven…

The Lord’s Prayer is lush with layers, covering multiple
expressions of our life and faith experience. As we enter the prayer we are
reminded of our connectivity to other believers, and we are offered a two-fold
way to relate to God, as Father and in reverence to his grandiose. Next we are
invited to affect the world and join with God in mission.

Let it first be understood, Jesus is not hollow in his words
nor does he waste. If he commissions us to pray for his kingdom to come on
earth as it is in heaven, the implication is this is a possible reality. As with
each layer of the Lord’s prayer, this is a way to communicate with God that is
directly attached to action and function. For instance, we are to pray “Our
Father” which compels us to pray into brotherhood but the unspoken expectation
is we follow that prayer with actions of brotherhood. Therefore, it is
necessary that we embrace not only a conversation with God about his kingdom in
the earth but also a life centered on this mission.

There are a vast array of ideas and explanations of what
exactly the phrase “kingdom of God” means. I cannot pretend to have a
comprehensive understanding of the subject. However, I have spent much time in
the last decade considering this kingdom, how it affects me and how it affects
the world in which we live. I want to offer a few basic statements about the
kingdom of God and then I will briefly expound on how these thoughts shape my
prayer life. In subsequent writings, I will communicate how these thoughts should shape our actions and faith.

The kingdom of God is the supernatural influence
and rule of God in the life of a believer. It is his presence and how we are affected by Holy Spirit.

The kingdom of God is the establishment of
Lordship in the life of a believer.

The kingdom of God is the supernatural influence
and rule of God in the circumstances surrounding a believer.

The kingdom of God is the superseding, over
coming, altering capabilities of God in the circumstances of life.

The kingdom of God is the life changing capability
of God in the lives of those around or in proximity to a believer.

The kingdom of God is the invitation of the Lord
to live under a different operating system with a different definition of
normal behavior, with different responses to circumstances and a lifestyle
submitted to his better way of being human.

The kingdom of God is the invitation of the Lord
to live in this world but not be subject to the thinking, systems and
parameters of the world (not literal earth parameters, but fallen nature,
wrong mindsets, selfishness, corruption, etc.).

The perpetuating of the kingdom of God (its
ways, culture, power and mission) is in the hands of the Church. This is the
responsibility of each believer but also a collective effort across the earth.

The mission of the Church, vast and
multi-faceted, is simplified into this one statement, to make wrong things
right. We do this through the declaration of the Gospel, through looking like
the culture of God’s kingdom and by contending with wrong in the earth.

The above is in no way comprehensive. Once again, many books
have been written on the subject, to presume I could cover all bases in a blog
would be foolish. Nonetheless, the above statements provide a framework for how
I pray “Thy kingdom come”. In
transparency, I often find myself slipping too deeply into the “personal
relationship with Jesus” side of my faith. I love Jesus and my natural
gravitation is toward solitude, introspection, meditation and soul health. It
is in the Lord’s prayer that I have found a catalyst to ensure my mind doesn’t
become so self conscious and introspective that I lose sight of Jesus having
come to seek and save that which is lost. After all, Jesus said he has given us
the keys to his kingdom for the purpose of binding and loosing, for the purpose
of affecting the earth. When I routinely pray “Thy kingdom come” I am forcing my gaze into the earth in search of
harvest and wrongs to be righted.

As I pray for God’s supernatural influence on
me, my circumstances, those I come in contact with…As I pray for the Church,
that we would become a culture shaping force in the earth…As I pray for wrongs
to be made right in our society, wrongs like racism, abortion, greed, the sex
industry, a corrupt government, ungodly agendas being perpetuated in our nation…In
those moments hope and possibility rise up in my soul. At times it is so
discouraging and daunting to look at the world and its fallen state, wondering how we are ever going
to affect meaningful change. But when I pray as Jesus instructed, “Thy kingdom come”, I am reminded he
wouldn’t have us pray something that is impossible.

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