Do We Dare Pray, “Thy Kingdom Come?”
Do you Dare Pray
Thy Kingdom Come?
May the grace, the mercy and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, cause you to desire that when you pray His Kingdom Come, that you desire it more and more
It is one thing to pray a prayer, especially a prayer as well known as the prayer our Lord taught us.
It is another thing to desire that God would hear that prayer, and answer it, making what we pray for come into existence before our eyes.
During this Lenten journey, that is what we are looking at, do we have the faith to desire that these prayer requests. Do we really desire that what we pray for? Do we recognize what we are praying for? Do we even realize what we are praying for and that this request will mean changes in our lives?
As we heard on Ash Wednesday, do we desire that God be our Father? Last week, as Chris asked are we ready to see God’s name be holy and praised because of how we live in Him?
Tonight we face the question, do we have the faith to pray, “Thy Kingdom Come?” Knowing that we are praying that God’s kingdom come here, right now, that He is in charge, and that how it is in heaven will be here on earth.
What will God’s Kingdom Look Like
In order to pray this, we shall have to understand what it means for God’s kingdom to come, and for us to realize it is in existence here, right where we live.
We could talk of what God’s kingdom is, but to desire it we need to visualize it, to hear it described to us. Think about a child, having gone to the magic kingdom for the first time. You don’t hear him talk about the machinery, about the payroll and the challenges of parking and waiting in long lines. When they describe Disneyland, the wonder, the awe, the joy is what dominates the conversation.
We need to hear Kingdom of Heaven described, what leaves you in awe, the joy, and what makes it so.
While we can’t describe the appearance of heaven, we can describe the joy that is known. A joy that exists because of the Love that God has for His people.
You see, that is what makes the kingdom of God so incredible. It’s not the heavenly temple or the Throne of God; it is the God who loves us, who welcomes us home. The God who poured our His love on us at the cross, as the blood of Christ poured out on the ground.
It is that agape love, loyalty, mercy, faithfulness that brings us into His kingdom on the day of Christ, and it is that love that brings us into His kingdom now. That love that sustains us comforts us, lovingly ministers to us, forgiving us of all sin, and all unrighteousness.
The love of God that does all this now, even as our sins are forgiven, as we are welcomed to the feast where the Body and Blood of Christ confirm this Kingdom and that we do live in it now.
In God’s kingdom, that love joins us to each other, healing broken relationships. Helping us to see that other’s lives are more important than the details that can divide us. That is why the ten commandments become more than rules; they are the description of lives lived in the love of God.
In God’s Kingdom, we will not murder, commit adultery, steal, gossip and ruin the reputation of those we love. We would celebrate how God blesses each other, rather than letting jealousy ruin relationships. That love of God, in His kingdom, unites us all so that when one cries, we all do, when one laughs, we all join in the celebration. That is why we rejoice when the prodigal comes home, rather than talk about all the things they did, that the good people didn’t do.
We love, as He loves. And in praying “They Kingdom come”, that is what we pray. That kind of life we don’t want to wait until heaven to experience!
Do You Really Want to Pray this happens now?
Are we willing to pray it? Do we have the faith required, the trust that says, God, make my life the same as it will be in heaven. May you rule over it now, may I become more and more like you, may I love ever more deeply.
That is a heavy prayer.
Because God becoming the focus of our lives, because of hearing that He will provide for us because He is our Lord and Master, challenges us. For that to happen, we have to realize that if Christ is our Lord, He is in control, and His love will pour through us.
That is harder than it looks, as it means we have to let Him rid our lives of those things that aren’t of love. We have to let Him get rid of that which gets in the way of our knowing His love, that which stops us from loving others.
Things like guilt and shame, because we choose to do what we want, rather than know His love. Where we, like Adam and Eve hiding and covering their sin, try to pretend everything is perfect, or try to justify what we do, because we know better than God does. Where we get rid of our pride and realize, He is right.
That He is our master.
To see His kingdom come means that we have to give up hatred and resentment towards those who have hurt us, who have sinned us again. We not only give up our “right” to revenge, as we dwell in His kingdom, we come to desire that they know His mercy. We desire to share in their lives, to reach out to them, even sacrifice our desires, our own time, even those things we treasure. We sacrifice those things in order to help those who do not have what we have, the knowledge of God’s peace, the ability to walk through life, confident of His love.
Are we ready to really give that up?
The Way this happens – (gospel)
That is perhaps one of the neatest things about prayer. We know that God’s kingdom coming to exist in our lives would be a blessing.
If we are honest, it is a hard thing to pray, to desire. To allow ourselves to be stripped of all that is not love, that is not reflective of all His love, maybe painful, no, it will be painful.
But in doing so, what is left, is Christ.
What is left is the Kingdom of God.
What is left, is the love of God. The love that transforms us, as we dwell in a relationship deeper than any other. As we are invited to share in the very love of God, together, as His people.
A love that seems unnatural, even supernatural to us, but is the love that brings healing, that is so miraculous, that it can cause a martyr’s mother to pray that God would reveal Himself to the killers. A love that can heal wounds decades old, that washes away our guilt and shame.
It is a Kingdom life we need. It is a life we need to desire.
Paul says of such prayers,
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:26-28 (NLT)
So knowing this, this desire of God to bring us into His kingdom, NOW, let us pray, with confidence.. for we know His love. AMEN?