“…Your kingdom come…”
– Matthew 6:10 –
In this phrase, Jesus commands His disciples to ask the Father to sovereignly increase and, ultimately, consummate His kingdom. Christians must pray for the Lord’s kingdom to come, understanding both the “already,” and the “not-yet” aspects of His kingdom.
Pray for the “Already” Aspect of His Kingdom to Increase
R. C. Sproul comments:
“When Jesus told His followers to pray, ‘Your kingdom come,’ He was making them participants in His own mission to spread the reign of God on this planet so that it might reflect the way God’s reign is established in heaven to this day.”
You can pray for this in three spheres: for yourself, for other believers, and for those who are not yet Christians.
- In your own personal life, pray that you would be an increasingly submissive, obedient subject to your King.
- Pray that other Christians—that is, the rest of those who belong to God’s kingdom—would be increasingly submissive and obedient as well.
- Pray that His kingdom would extend. That is, pray that unbelievers would be evangelized and converted, in order that they may become submissive and obedient subjects to the King. Commit to praying for personal opportunities to preach the Gospel to the lost, and thus playing a part in this mission.
Pray for Christ’s Return and the Establishment of What Remains “Not Yet”
Pray that King Jesus would return to reign in His fullness upon the earth from the throne of David. Pray that He would come and consummate His rule over all things, thus giving the heavenly voices reason to shout: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever” (Rev 11:15), thereby eradicating evil and all that was not in conformity with the kingdom “already.”
- Along with the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 16:22, pray “Maranatha!”
- Along with the Apostle John in Revelation 22:20, pray, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”
- And as the expectant and eager bride, join the Church, dressed in fine, white linen, and along with the Spirit, pray to the King, “Come.”
D. A. Carson summarizes the nature of the petition for the Father’s kingdom to come:
“To pray ‘your kingdom come’ is therefore simultaneously [a] to ask that God’s saving, royal rule be extended now as people bow in submission to him and already taste the eschatological blessing of salvation and [b] to cry for the consummation of the kingdom.”
Martyn Lloyd-Jones clarifies nicely:
“When we pray, ‘Thy kingdom come’, we are praying for the success of the gospel, its sway and power’ we are praying for the conversion of men and women; we are praying that the kingdom of God may come today…everywhere in the world. … But it goes even further than that. It is a prayer which indicates that we are ‘Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God’ (2 Pet. 3:21). It means that we should be anticipating the day when all sin and evil and wrong and everything that is opposed to God shall finally have been routed.”
So also we should pray, all we who “long for His appearing” (2Tim 4:8).
Do you long for that day? Do you eagerly anticipate the end of your battle with your flesh? Do you groan inwardly, longing to be clothed with your resurrection body that is free from all sin? Do you long to be conformed finally into the image of Christ (Rom 8:29; 1 John 3:2)?
And even more than that: Do you long for the routing of all sin, evil, and wrong? Do you treasure the supreme worth of the glory of God so much that your soul happily awaits its vindication and victorious display? Do you delight in the holiness of God such that it gladdens your heart to know that the Lord Jesus will finally get what He is worthy of in all of His creation?
Then pray for the Lord’s kingdom to come.