So often our prayers begin with requests for our own needs—and they continue and finish in the same way!
Jesus’s model prayer is also a list of requests. There is nothing wrong with asking God for things—he wants us to. However, the first three requests in the Lord’s Prayer are not for ourselves, they are for God’s concerns. They not only show that we depend on God; they also lead our minds to delight in God. Beginning our prayers in this way guards us from selfish asking.
Today, read and reflect on the second and third requests:
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt. 6:10)
Yesterday we saw that God is both Father and Holy. This verse reminds us that the God we pray to is the King. He rules over all, and he has set the conditions for us to live in harmony and happiness, under his good rule.
However, at present we live in a world in rebellion against God. Even in our own lives, we often ignore or blatantly disobey God’s will.
When we pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done,” we are longing for the end point of God’s plan to arrive:
… to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. (Eph. 1:10b)
We are asking for Jesus to return, for evil to be destroyed, for Christ’s people to be made perfect and raised in glory in God’s eternal kingdom.
And yet, God’s kingdom is already beginning (Luke 17:20-21). It grows as people turn to Jesus, find new life and hope in him, and commit to living under God’s rule. His kingdom grows in us as we seek to live for Jesus.
Spend a few minutes asking God to bring his rule into every area of your life; to bring his rule to parts of our world where Jesus is not known; and to bring his final, glorious kingdom in Jesus. Come, Lord Jesus!
Finally, as we reflect on God as King, the Bible has some wonderful news. For everyone who trusts in Jesus, God is not just sovereign; he is sovereign for us! He rules by working powerfully in us, for our good. He rules by saying “Yes!” to our requests in Jesus’s name, and acting far more powerfully and abundantly than we expect or realise. Paul says:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21)
Finish by meditating on these verses and turning them into prayer. Use them to praise and thank the King, and also find comfort and assurance.