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3 Thy Kingdom Come: The Prayer that Changes the World

by Michael Milton

The Kingdom of God Is Progressing

The kingdom of God is going to burst forth in a new heaven and a new earth.

When we pray “Your kingdom come,” we are also praying for the fulfillment of the kingdom by the return of Christ and the restoration of all things. The Lord said, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea” (Rev. 21:1, NIV).

“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true'” (Rev. 21:5, NIV).

And Paul wrote of that day,

“Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power” (1 Cor. 15:24).

Men of good will differ on how this will play out. I only say that He came once and He is coming again. He will appear in the heavens and bring with Him all those who have died in Christ. Their very bodies will be raised from the dead, and body and soul, they will be caught up with Christ forever. Those living, likewise, shall be transformed. Christ shall judge all men in that day, and the kingdom will come in its fullest as all men name Jesus as Lord of lords and King of kings. Then, says Paul, Jesus shall hand over the kingdom to the Father that God may be all in all. This is the consummation of the kingdom.

I do not understand the fullness of what this means any more than I can fully comprehend Eden. But I know that when I pray “Your kingdom come,” I am praying for the realization of the kingdom of God so that I will see my daddy again. I am praying to see my Aunt Eva again. I am praying to stand with my predecessors here — with Dr. McCallie and Dr. Venable and Dr. Fowle and all the saints who have gone before. Since I am your pastor and I stand with you when you lose your loved ones, I am praying for you to see them, too.

And this is the prayer that is changing the world. It is a prayer that is crying out for that which C.S. Lewis captured so well in his book The Last Battle:

All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page; now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.4

This is what we are praying for.

The Kingdom of God Is Responsive

The kingdom of God comes through prayer.

The very fact that Jesus instructs us to pray for the kingdom to come shows that His rule and reign in our lives and in our world is dependent upon our prayers. This is revolutionary in its self, but true. The kingdom will come through prayer itself. God ought to be able to bring in His kingdom without me, and He can. But he desires that I pray for it. Prayer becomes the engine of the kingdom of God.

When we pray, “Your kingdom come,” we are praying for faith to see what is not yet here.

The Kingdom of God Is Personal

The kingdom of God is a present reality that requires your response.

We have learned what the Bible says about the kingdom of God and how this one prayer is literally changing the world. But this prayer is also the gospel for you who need forgiveness. It is the prayer for you, believer, whose soul has unconquered territories — citadels of resistance — that must give way to the loving rule of Jesus Christ. The teaching of the kingdom is imminent, immediate, personal, and urgent and requires your response today.

Joshua, the leader of Israel, had seen the opposing kingdoms and was concerned that Israel be faithful to God.

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:14-15).

Who among us will pray, “Your kingdom come” and really pray it with your very soul — to believe that Christ is answering? To do so is to pray a prayer that will change your world. ❖

1 C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in The Chronicles of Narnia, (HarperCollins: New York, NY, 1950).
2 Peggy Noonan, John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father (New York: Viking, 2005).
3 Philip Graham Ryken, The Prayer of Our Lord (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2002).
4 C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle in The Chronicles of Narnia, (HarperCollins: New York, NY, 1956).

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