Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven
More so than anything else, “The Lord’s Prayer”, or perhaps more accurately, “Every Disciple’s Prayer”, is a prayer for God to make it obvious that He is in control of everything.
The model prayer that our Lord Jesus gave us, starts with addressing God Himself, specifically the One who is both our Father and the transcendent God in Heaven. The next line in the prayer is an affirmation of God’s holy character and that above all other concerns, His glory is the purpose of all things.
With God’s greatness clearly emphasised, we are then taught to pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven”. This is perhaps one of the most comforting of all prayers for a child of God to pray to the God of the Universe.
God performs His great sovereignty over all affairs of life through Providence. Providence is the behind-the-scenes, not-so-obvious, way in which God accomplishes His purposes through the normal flow of human events. Even the evil done by mankind is turned into good by God’s Providence, but it is easily attributed to counterfeits of God’s sovereignty like luck, coincidence, and chance.
As believers we cry out to God to make it a little more obvious, both to us and to unbelievers, that He is the One making all things work together. Our hearts cry out for that so our loved ones who ignore Him might perceive His goodness to them. Our hearts cry out for that so we ourselves will not lose heart amidst the chaos of this life. Our hearts rightly cry out for God to make His sovereignty a little more obvious to everyone.
That is exactly what follows in our Lord Jesus’s sample prayer for every disciple of His.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
To turn that general prayer into some specifics that will certainly show God to be the One Who is sovereign over this universe, Jesus lists the following for us.
- Pray that you get daily bread. More so than a monthly salary, daily bread will demonstrate that God is in control of life as He provides for His own even when they are destitute (1 Kings 17:6)
- Pray for your sins to be forgiven. Nobody can forgive sins except God, so pray for your sins to be forgiven, and let the freedom of that make others eager to hear the message of forgiven sins. Every time God forgives a sinner’s sin, that person recognises that God is in charge after all. (Psalm 130:4)
- Pray to less opportunity to sin. Resisting temptation to sin is difficult because our own desires tempt us to sin, and the Evil One is engaged in seeking our downfall too. So pray that God in His sovereignty will make less temptations come our way. It is truly a testimony to the world when a Christian generally has less troubles than the unbelieving because they don’t get into as many perilous situations as the wicked. (Proverbs 22:3)
The point in this is very simple. Pray that God makes His sovereignty more obvious to you, and everyone else on the face of this earth. You don’t need miracle crusades or flashy signs in the sky for that; all you need is for God to take care of the needs of His own, to cleanse sinners from the guilt of their sin, and to keep us from further sin. Those are things that defy luck, coincidence, and chance. Those are things that make us exclaim on a daily basis “Our God reigns”.
One day, God will bring His kingdom to earth. Then it will be stunningly obvious to all that He is in charge of life. A prayer for His sovereignty to be on obvious display now through these three requests is in essence also already a prayer for that future Kingdom display of sovereignty to come quickly.
When you think of prayer, think of it in this way:
Care about what God cares about, then bring your cares to God.