The Lord's Prayer

The Basic Concepts

Thy Kingdom Come Page 2

From the Message of

Bread Upon The Waters Ministry

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Jesus REALLY is coming soon. BE READY!!!

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Careless Prayer:
Most Christians don't know it, but there are a number of Scriptures that, taken together, make it perfectly clear that mindlessly running one's mouth when praying is actually a sin. You know that Jesus told us not to use
"vain repetitions", but that isn't all the Bible says about this. See, for example, the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:36 & 37:

"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day
of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

or the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 5:2

"Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few."

Yet everyday, in all probability, millions of people commit this sin when they mindlessly recite the Lord's Prayer. Not to mention, of course, the "Hail Mary", which is even worse.  They seem to think that there is some kind of magic to doing this, that doing it will somehow bring them "good luck". The awful truth is, doing that is more likely to get them condemned to hell.

Our Responsibility
When we make a petition to God in prayer, we are taking on a responsibility; a responsibility to do our part to make it happen. Although there is often such a thing as praying for help in a situation that is impossible us to deal with in our own wisdom and strength, there are also many petitions that we can make that are such that we can do something about it. Taking such action is what has been called "putting legs on our prayers". This is nowhere more true of something we should do than in the first main petition (note that the Lord's Prayer consists of four main petitions) of the Lord's Prayer:

Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

It should be our intent, when praying these words, to make the fulfillment of it the number one priority of our Christian lives. Yet is certain that the vast majority of those who regularly pray this prayer never think of having an active role in bringing about the granting of this petition. And many of those relatively few who do don't really understand what they are asking for.

The Question:
The questions are, when we are praying these words, what exactly, in practical, down - to - earth terms, are we asking for? And what can we  in fact do to help bring about the granting of the petition?

Hallowed Be Thy Name

When we pray the words, "Hallowed be Thy Name", we are praying, in the context of the petition,  that everyone, everywhere, will give God the reverence He deserves. God's Name must be hallowed on earth as much as His kingdom must come and His will must be done. This means, first of all, that everyone, everywhere would simply believe in Him. And of course, by the most generous estimate, only a little more than 1/4 of the present world population ostensibly believes in the Christian God at all. And it is likely that only 1/5 of them are truly saved. So to begin with, when we are praying this, we are praying for everyone, literally, to be saved. And more than that, that once they are saved, they will, again, have the reverence for God that He deserves.

This also includes the idea of everyone having a Biblical fear of God. There is a popular line of false teaching that says that "fearing God" simply means to have reverence and respect for Him. It denies that we should fear God in terms of what He might do to us. But that is a flagrant, deliberate ignoring of what Jesus Himself plainly said. In  Luke 12:4-5, Jesus made it plain what Biblical fear of God means:

"I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who
kill the body and after that can do no more.
     But I will show you whom you should fear:

Fear him who, after the killing of the body,
has power to throw you into hell.
Yes, I tell you, fear him.

Jesus certainly seemed to think we should fear God on the basis of what He might do to us, and who would know this more than He?  If the whole world believed in God only to the point of fearing Him this way, we would be living in a much better world. So when we pray, "Hallowed be Thy Name",  we should be praying that everyone would truly believe in and fear God, and we should be making a commitment to help bring that to pass.

Thy Kingdom Come

Secondly, this prayer is asking for God to have true, absolute control of everything that happens on earth. It is praying that the whole earth would be truly subject to His authority. This is going to require, among other things, complete unity among Christians. As Jesus said, (Matt 12:25)

"Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined,
and every city or household divided against itself will not stand."

It is quite likely that one of the main reasons why the Great Commission has not been fulfilled is all the division that we have allowed to exist in the Church. Our doing so is totally contrary to the clear word of Scripture, which calls for us to make a priority of maintaining unity in the Church.

In John 17: 21, Jesus prayed for all who believe..."that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me."

In Ephesians 43, Paul told us that we should... "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."

So when we pray that "Thy kingdom come", we should be consciously praying for unity in the Church, and we should be making a committment to help bring that unity to pass.

Thy Will Be Done

Third, it is praying that God will be absolutely obeyed, by everyone, everywhere, and in every way. It is praying for a total end to sin. And that means not just human sin on this earth, but demonic sin as well. This would also mean a complete end to all deception, temptation, demonic oppression, and out-and-out demon possession.   Just this situation would put an end to an awful lot of sin and suffering.

For this to happen, not everyone will have to want it, at first. Not everyone will have to really know the difference between sin and righteousness. And not everyone will have to be committed to righteousness. The wonderful thing about this, though, is that the more people who are collectively doing it, the easier it will become. The trouble is that right now, almost nobody is really praying for it.  It will take at least a small group of mature and otherwise really obedient Christians to covenant to pray for the Kingdom to come, and really mean it,  bring it to pass. And, of course, they will have to be praying in the process for others to join them in the effort.

Making It Personal

In view of this, it follows, first of all, that when anyone prays this prayer, he or she must be making an inner committment to fulfill these petitons in his or her own life.  Secondly, for a person to pray the Lord's prayer without that idea in mind is hypocrisy. It is, as referred to above, mindlessly running one's mouth and that in  prayer to the Lord. This is, far from righteous prayer, rather irreverent and it scoffs at God's sovereignty, the very thing the words being mouthed appeal to. A Christian who does this must realize that contrary to what it seems,   this is going to produce the fruit of chastisement in his life.  In I Corinthians 11:27-30, St. Paul made reference to the idea that bad things happening to Christians could be the result of taking communion carelessly. The same thing could well be true of carelessly praying the Lord's Prayer.  The intent of the person praying the Lord's Prayer must be "...on earth as it is in heaven; and especially in me!" And having that idea in mind absolutely includes having the idea of doing everything in one's power to bring it to pass worldwide as well.

The bottom line is this: If you are not really committed to these petitions being fulfilled, first in your own life, and secondly in the world as a whole, you should never pray the Lord's Prayer.

This is the first of two major Scriptural issues that we must investigate in this context.
We will look at the second one in the following page,

The Great Commission

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Thy Kingdom Come Home Page Introduction
Return to Home Page Other Important Topics
What's New? Links Page
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Contact Author, William D. Brehm

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