The Lord’s Prayer: Part 2

 
Sermon Overview
 
The Lord’s Prayer features six requests. The first three expressly magnify God as Father in haven. He is entirely holy, and so we pray that more people will become aware of his holiness, as no one can truly know God without knowing him as entirely perfect beyond description, free from corruption, and absolutely good. This is the essence of Matthew 6:9. Matthew 6:10 contains two more requests: “Your kingdom come, your will be done,” then adds “on earth as it is in heaven.”
 
The kingdom of God is a reality that found its first expression in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve, made in God’s image, were commissioned to multiply (have babies) and to exercise God’s authority over creation by proxy, in a much more limited manner. But when they succumbed to temptation, the whole world with them entered into a state of disarray and corruption. The world that was once only beautiful and enjoyable now become unpredictable and at times terrifying. God remained king over the earth, though. He chose to pursue his kingdom purposes through the family line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the nation of Israel. With this nation he made a covenant in which he promised his abundant blessing and love for their humble obedience to him. Other nations could then take note of the relationship between God and Israel and turn from their false gods to the true God. Along the way, God promised David, the first king from the tribe of Judah, that his throne would endure forever. 
 
This was quite a promise, given that kings and kingdoms often rise and fall with wars and infighting. The promise held true even through Israel’s exile and into the Roman Occupation, when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that Jesus, the Son of God who would come to her womb in a one-time miracle, would possess the throne of David. When it came time, Jesus began preaching that the kingdom was at hand (Matthew 4:17). This kingdom would not be like those of the world (John 18:36). One must be born again by the Spirit of God to see it (John 3:3), and yet it would one day fill the whole earth.
 
We live in the time in between the kingdom’s beginning and it’s fulfillment. When we pray along the lines of “your kingdom, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” we are asking God to do things both right now and in the future. Right now, we want people to be saved. We want ourselves to be more like Christ and less like the world. We are asking for churches to be strong, on mission, worshipful, and free of scandal and corruption. The kingdom now is essentially God’s rule and reign expressed in the lives of obedient believers who do increasingly do his will. But the kingdom to come is going to be a remaking of reality. Following other events at the end of the age, God will judge all evil, gather believers to himself, and establish a perfect government once and for all – one in which the King reigns in pure glory and perfect love. This coming reality is clear to those already in heaven, but we pray that more on earth will realize it too.
 
Questions:
 
Read Matthew 6:9-13
 
Which part of the Lord’s prayer do you find yourself most naturally praying?
 
Do you pray much about the coming kingdom of God? Why or why not?
 
Do you pray much about God’s will being done? 
 
How do you understand God’s will? (What he decrees, what he desires, or both?)
 
When you read Scripture, what kind of connections do you sense with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and others who received kingdom promises long before you?
 
How does anticipating the kingdom affect your sense of citizenship on earth?

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