Dean Kuest – Glendale Campus Pastor
“This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 5:9-15
We all want God’s Kingdom to come…right? Who wouldn’t want God’s will to happen right here in our midst? But this powerful prayer of Jesus has some implications that we need to understand even as we pray it…even as we long for it to be real here on earth.
The first implication is simply that God’s Kingdom is a place where everything that happens is within God’s will or desire. A Kingdom is a place where the King reigns supreme. Nothing happens without the King’s blessing. The people of the Kingdom live to accomplish the purpose of their King.
The next observation from Jesus’ prayer can be fairly disconcerting to some. Not everything that happens on earth is God’s will or desire being done. I often hear people with a Christian worldview address horrible or evil situations with a simplistic, “Well, I guess it was God’s will.” No! Pain, Suffering or Evil has never been God’s will. A child dying of cancer is not God’s will. That car accident caused by a drunk driver was not God’s will. We live in a broken and sinful world that cries out for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, unfortunately, that is not its natural state. If it were, there would be no need for Jesus to teach the disciples to pray this prayer.
Finally, we should ask the question, why would Jesus teach His disciples to pray this prayer? Does it contain the magic words that bring about God’s will on earth? A simple prayer that powerfully invokes the desires of God into any situation? If only it were that simple. Instead, perhaps, in teaching them to pray this prayer, His hope is that they begin to understand it is their purpose to live out the will of God in a broken world. As His disciples, our role is to love our King and live in such a way as to represent His will on earth. We are the “bringers” of God’s will through forgiveness for the sinner, mercy for the fallen, and justice for the oppressed.
May God’s Kingdom come…through you…today!