“Pray then like this:
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day 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 evil.’”
It’s not easy writing about the Kingdom. We so easily say the words “Jesus Christ,” but we so quickly forget that the Christ is the Messiah, the long-awaited KING. We don’t spend our days living in the reality of kings and kingdoms. We’re Americans after all: our founding story is about breaking away from monarchy! Some of us are enchanted with the royal family, but most of us feel disconnected. All of this seems true on the surface, but what if, underneath it all, we’re more in tune with kings and kingdoms than we realize?
When we put all our hopes in a friend, spouse, parent, or child; when we idolize a politician, business leader, influencer, entertainer, or athlete; when we raise up a spiritual leader to a place that no man or woman deserves; when we look to money, success, power, or sex to bring us deep and abiding peace—do we realize that we’re looking for a king? We long for someone to give us the life for which we long.
When we groan over a devastating diagnosis; when we see people wasting away in poverty; when we hear that there are still millions of human beings suffering in slavery; when we hope that the next election will heal our country’s deep wounds; when we ache for wars to cease; when we kneel by the hospital bed and hold a loved one’s hand—do we realize that we’re looking for a kingdom? We long for shalom, that deep, soul-satisfying peace that all is right with the world.
So, in our sin and in our longings, in our misguided agendas, and in our deepest hopes, our hearts are crying out for the Messiah, the King of kings, and for His Kingdom. We chase counterfeit kings and build counterfeit kingdoms, but our empty pursuits scream that there is a real King and a real Kingdom. We long for a King without succession and a Kingdom without end. The Bible calls us to seek the King and His Kingdom, but we’re consistently reminded that He sought us first. The King has come, and He is coming again.
The Kingdom comes as the King reigns more and more in the lives of His people. By His grace, when we are poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3); when we mourn over our sin (Matthew 5:4); when we repent and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15); when we hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6); when we seek to love God with all that we have (Matthew 22:37); when we love one another as He has loved us (John 13:34-35); when we live as salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16); when we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44)—the invisible Kingdom becomes visible. The King Himself said, “The Kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you” (Luke 17:21). Of course, there are outward manifestations of the Kingdom in the world, but Jesus is reminding us of the mystery of this Kingdom: it is in the midst of us—even inside us.
Do we realize that we’re looking for a king, and He has come, and He’s coming again? This very moment, King Jesus is on His throne, and His Holy Spirit is working in and through His body, the Church.
Do we realize that we’re looking for a Kingdom, and it has come, and one day it will come in all its fullness? The vision of the new heaven and the new earth is God’s people in the unveiled presence of God in a world with no tears, no death, no mourning, no crying, and no pain. And the message from the King on the throne is breathtaking: “Behold, I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:1-5).
“Your Kingdom come” is not such a strange request after all. It’s one of the deepest longings of our hearts. Lord Jesus, Messiah, King of kings, teach us to pray. Your Kingdom come: continue the work that You established through Your life, death, and resurrection! Your Kingdom come, not just in our world, but in our hearts! Your Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven, until the day when earth and heaven are one! “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).