Short Meditations on the Lord’s Prayer: 5. Honoring Praying
Mt 6:9c,10a hallowed be your name, your kingdom come
So we considered “Hallowed be your name”, respecting and honoring God but now we come to not only a request but a reason for honoring God – He is Ruler over all things. We may think this world just ticks on second by second on its own but this God not only created it (Gen 14:19,22) but He sustains it, upholds it, keeps it going. But is it more than that for He is the Redeemer of the world, He is working to bring people back to Himself and through them restore the order that was there before the Fall and bring fresh hope to the world – and this is where the talk about his ‘kingdom’ comes in.
His kingdom is His rule, re-establishing His goodness to this fallen world. We see the expression of ‘the kingdom’, this expression of the will of God being worked out, when Jesus healed people, when he delivered people, when he raised people from the dead, when he taught people so that they too could live the life of a relationship with God, this is what kingdom is all about.
Church is not supposed to be the goal in itself, but it is to be the vehicle that Jesus uses, his ongoing ‘body’, that he empowers, he guides, he directs (where we will let him do that) to continue to do the things he said. Hence his instructions to all his followers (Matt 28:20, Jn 14:12) to continue doing what he had been doing. Hence the descriptions of what he had been doing (Lk 4:18,19, Mt 11:5), hence the wonderful descriptions of how this body works (1 Cor 12:27, Eph 4:11-16, 5:23, Col 3:15), all so that the kingdom may still be expressed on the earth.
What is the purpose behind Jesus’ activity? We see it in Paul’s words: “the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” (1 Cor 15:24,25) No doubt that refers to his Second Coming, but in the meantime, through his body, the church, he seeks to work to destroy all wrong, all evil, all impurity, everything contrary to the perfect will of God, all the things that came into the world through human activity contrary to the will of God that followed the Fall.
Thus when we pray these words (if we use this as a form of standard prayer), for it to be meaningful we must be praying, “Lord, please continue to work in and through the church, in and through me, to bring about your restorative will on the earth. Fill me with your love and your goodness through the active presence of your Holy Spirit in me, that unrighteousness will have no place in my life. Lead me, guide me to be transforming salt and light in your world, for your glory.”