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.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'
Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
Jesus’ kingdom is complicated, yet simple. His rule is not yet realized, yet it is fully established.
When Jesus came into the world, the Jews commonly expected their Messiah to come as a conquering king to free them from the Roman oppression. The Old Testament tells of this warrior king who will conquer the world and set up his dominion over everything. However, the Old Testament also tells of attributes in addition to this conquering kingship.
The ancient Scriptures also foretell of a suffering servant that will sacrifice Himself for the sins of the world. This suffering servant is also the Messiah, the Savior, God clothed in flesh. So while both attributes of the Messiah will eventually be realized, the world has only witnessed the suffering servant and is still yet to see the conquering king.
Therefore, Jesus the Messiah has come into the world to set up His kingdom, a kingdom from above. At the moment we are living in-between the times when Jesus initiated His kingdom, and when He will consummate His kingdom.
It is within this idea that this phrase reminds us to subject ourselves to Jesus’ ruling while looking to the future for His final completion of his kingdom establishment.
Your Will Be Done - On Earth as it is in Heaven
This is not a new thought to the disciples. Throughout the Psalms, there are prayers asking for God to bring His kingdom and rule to the earth. For example, in Psalm 72:19, the psalmist desires that God would fill the entire earth with His glory. This is a way of asking for God’s heavenly glory to manifest itself on earth as it is in heaven.
Within the idea of bringing God’s glory to the earth is another thought which may have been common among the disciples’ understanding. Biblical scholar Adam Clarke in his commentary explains the idea as such:
The Jews maintained, that they were the angels of God upon earth, as these pure spirits were angels of God in heaven; hence they said, “As the angels sanctify the Divine name in heaven, so the Israelites sanctify the Divine name, upon earth.”
What does that mean? It means we are to represent God and display His kingdom reality by living in line with His will. As we pray for God’s will to be done, this is both a corporate plea and a personal prayer. We desire to see God’s ultimate completion of the age, yet at the same time, we must strive to meet God’s desires amongst our daily lives.
This piece of Psalm 103 shows the kingdom rule of God, and also shows the relationship of Jews and righteous living compared to the function of the angels in heaven.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven;
his kingdom extends over everything.
Praise the LORD, you angels of his,
you powerful warriors who carry out his decrees
and obey his orders!
Praise the LORD, all you warriors of his,
you servants of his who carry out his desires!
Praise the LORD, all that he has made,
in all the regions of his kingdom!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
Psalm 103:19-22 (NET1)
As the angels operate in heaven, we are to operate on earth. We are to carry out His desires, obey His orders, and listen intently to His word.
Father, help us to live this way!
- This post is part of a traveling series on The Lord’s Prayer. You can find the other posts below:
- Our Father In Heaven
- Hallowed Be Your Name
- Your Kingdom Come. Your Will Be Done.
- Give Us Our Daily Bread. Forgive Us Our Debts.
- Lead Us Not Into Temptation. Deliver Us From Evil.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR EDITOR:
I am submitting this post as part of a collaborative blog tour teaching on The Lord's Prayer. For this to be effective, all posts in the tour must be published on the same day with active links to each of the other four remaining posts. For this blog tour, we want to share traffic, expose readers to new websites with meaningful content, and of course, provide an impactful blog series on The Lord's Prayer. This will require you as a publishing host to privately publish before April 7th and email the permalink to Brad@BradAndres.com.
I have also included a graphic image which provides the entire Lord's Prayer and highlights the specific verse discussed in your post. This same graphic will be posted on each hosting website. In addition, I have also submitted my biography photo if you choose to publish that as well.
The day for open publication of the teaching series is scheduled to be April 14th. Please let me know if you would like to take part in this event. Feel free to contact me with any further questions.
Our Father In Heaven: http://blog.wordsearchbible.com/2014/02/11/guest-post-our-father-in-heaven/#.Uvt6jT1dWyg
Hallowed Be Your Name: http://commentsonchristianity.com/2014/04/14/hallowed-be-your-name/
Your Kingdom Come. Your Will Be Done. http://faithfuldevotions.com/bible-study/your-kindgom-come-your-will-be-done
Give Us Our Daily Bread. Forgive Us Our Sins. http://www.prayers-for-special-help.com/forgive-us-our-sins.html
Lead Us Not Into Temptation. Deliver Us From Evil. http://www.bradandres.com/lead-us-not-into-temptation-deliver-us-from-evil
Brad Andres is a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God. He is the author of The Scripture Reader’s Manifesto and a regular contributor to www.Prayers-For-Special-Help.com. His passion is to help people understand the Bible and maximize their God given potential for life. To hear more of Brad’s thoughts, check out his website at www.BradAndres.com.