How to Pray for God's Kingdom

 By William Boekestein - Posted at Place for Truth:

(This article is abridged from a chapter in Glorifying and Enjoying God: 52 Devotions through the Westminster Shorter Catechism.)

In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus teaches us to pray for the coming of his kingdom (Matt. 6:10). This sounds like a grand idea, something we should surely do. But how do we do it? How do we use the second petition of Jesus’ prayer to make other prayers in line with his will for God’s kingdom?

What Is God’s Kingdom?


God’s kingdom is the realm over which Christ rules as mediator. God presently governs all things. But “kingdom” describes His specific rule over those who are self-consciously submissive to Christ.[i] Some people rebel against King Jesus. They make up another kingdom, that of darkness (Col. 1:13). Where sin reigns, so does its prince (Matt. 9:34). Where grace reigns, so does its King (Rom. 5:21).

God’s kingdom is a dominant concept in Scripture. God is the great King whose subjects revolted, fracturing His world. Since the great rebellion God has been reasserting His reign. The kingdom is always coming, growing, and expanding (Matt. 13:31–33). It started small, in a garden; it will be fully realized in a massive and elegant walled city. God is restoring order by repatriating citizens into His realm and enlisting them to fight against this world’s evil. Jesus died to pay the penalty for defection and reopen the gate for penitent sinners to enter the holy city. He will eventually reconcile all things to Himself (Col. 1:20). In the meantime, kingdom citizens are learning to restructure their values according to kingdom priorities.

What the coming of God’s kingdom means for each of us depends on how we respond to Jesus’ rule. John Calvin put it this way: God establishes His kingdom “by humbling the whole world, but in different ways. For he tames the wantonness of some, breaks the untamable pride of others.”[ii] This truth affects how we pray for the coming of God’s kingdom. The second petition teaches us to pray that God would pull down Satan’s strongholds and establish his kingdom in the world.

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