Do we pray for His kingdom or our kingdom?

In Matthew 6 Jesus is teaching the disciples about prayer and in the midst of the prayer Jesus says, “Your kingdom come your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

This language might sound a little odd to us because we live in a democracy, however, Scripture teaches us we have a God who is a righteous and benevolent king and he is establishing his kingdom here on earth. At first we might twitch a little because we have memories of horrible kings throughout world history, but this king is perfect, loving, just, and all powerful. It is a kingdom that will be established for eternity.

In Matthew 6 Jesus is teaching us to pray for His kingdom. Yet, if we are honest we mostly pray for our kingdom. If you turn on the television, radio, or walk in a bookstore you will see that most people are teaching about how God is here to help us get our kingdom started. We have reduced God to a little rabbit’s foot for good luck. We pray for God to help us get through college, God help me get married, God help me get a good job, God help us get a good house, God help our children be safe, God help us have a good retirement, God help us have good health. Those things aren’t bad, but God isn’t here to help us build our little kingdoms. Our kingdoms would be horrible. Our kingdoms would destroy creation, elevate the wealthy, overlook criminal activity, neglect the needy, abuse women, prey upon children, oh wait…

If we are going to pray for His kingdom then we need to ask, “What is His kingdom like?”

His Name Exalted: It is a Kingdom where His name is exalted above all other names and through prayer God is inviting us to be apart of His kingdom.

Justice: It is a Kingdom where there is justice for the poor, neglected, and abused, and through prayer God is inviting us to be apart of His kingdom.

Peace: It is a Kingdom where there is peace and reconciliation in our relationship with God and with others and God is inviting us to be a part of His kingdom here on earth.

Our prayers aren’t driven by what we want, but what God wants. How is His Kingdom shaping how you pray? Jesus had a similar experience when He is in the garden before the night of his crucifixion and He prays, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

Jesus is asking if there is any other way this can happen besides the cross, but ultimately His prayer is for the will of the Father to be done. The Son is submitting to the Father, and in Matthew 6 Jesus is teaching us through prayer to submit our will to His will. When we are praying about jobs, spouses, relationships, finances, children, or even what we will do that day our lens isn’t to establish our kingdom, but His Kingdom!.

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