Over the next few weeks, in our devotions we’ll take a look at each phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, one at a time. This week’s phrase is, “Thy kingdom come.”
20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or, ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you. – Luke 17:20,21
Where exactly is the kingdom of God? Is it overseas? Is it in outer space? Is anyone even able to know?
One time, Jesus was asked about the kingdom of God. He responded by saying, “The kingdom of God is within you.” Ponder that…God’s kingdom isn’t overseas, or outer space, or an unsolvable mystery. It’s actually close to home and easy to find. The kingdom of God is within you, as Jesus rules in your heart through His Word. Wow. Jesus rules in my heart. With that in mind, what do we mean when we pray, “Thy kingdom come?”
Jesus, come and rule in my heart! Squeeze away my anxiety and fear. Guard me from the love of sinning. Assure me of your eternal forgiveness. Sharpen me to discern what is holy truth and what is Satanic. Give me your peace that passes understanding, for then your kingdom will come.
Jesus, come and rule in the hearts of fellow Christians! Help them all to face each day without fear, shame or guilt. Cause opportunities to arise where the gospel might be shared. Make them bold when those opportunities come. Give fellow Christians the peace that passes understanding, for then your kingdom will come.
Jesus, begin your rule in the hearts of non-Christians! Find your way into their souls with your truth. Resurrect hearts that were lost, that they may be alive in Christ and have hope that never stops. Begin to rule in lost souls with your peace that passes understanding, for then your kingdom will come.
Jesus, come and rule in the midst of your enemies! Prevent me from lying to myself, that I begin to think you have lost your power as I see chaos in our world. Never let me think that someone else in control. Bare your holy Word and send Satan scurrying away. In spite of what your enemies try to do, give to all the peace that passes understanding, for then your kingdom will come.
Prayer (written by Martin Luther, about the words, “Thy kingdom come”):
Rule, dear Lord, in the midst of your enemies! Topple every idol throne and every power that raises itself up as a rival to you, both inside our own souls and outside us in the world. Create your kingdom of peace out of the chaos of our hearts. Give us a true and lasting faith in Christ and a fearless hope in your mercy. Help us, by your Holy Spirit, that we may judge and understand all things not by our own fallen vision, or human sense, but by your Word. It alone is the truth. Enable us, with all power that you supply, to spread your kingdom of grace throughout the world. Produce the Spirit’s fruit in us while we wait here in hope for your appearing. Amen.