“Your Kingdom Come & Your Will Be Done”
Reflecting on the “Lord’s Prayer,” Anne Kiemel wrote, “I cannot say Thy kingdom come, if I am unwilling to give up my own sovereignty and accept the righteous reign of God. I cannot say Thy will be done, if I am unwilling or resentful of having it in my life. I cannot say on earth as it is in heaven, unless I am truly ready to give myself to God’s service here and now.”
To ask for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done is to ask for God’s ways to be lived out in our lives. Lisa Lewolt suggests that “to pray Thy kingdom come means to invite God’s will into the world and to be open to what God wants for your life.”
Actually, this request in the “Lord’s Prayer” is summed up well in the first three steps of the Twelve Step Program: “We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol (or to whatever it is that applies to me or to you)—that our lives had become unmanageable. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God.”
When we ask for God’s kingdom to come and his will to be done, we acknowledge that God knows how to run this world better than we do, and he knows how to run our lives better than we do. When we ask for God’s kingdom to come and his will to be done, we ask God to take the lead, and we commit ourselves to following his lead. When we ask for God’s kingdom to come and his will to be done, we believe that God’s lead in our lives will restore us to sanity and will lead us to deepest joy and peace and contentment.
David Roper writes, “I read a story about a pastor of a small, rural church in Scotland. He had been forced out by his elders, who claimed they saw no fruit from his ministry…. During the time the pastor served, there had been no conversions and no baptisms. But he did recall one positive response to his preaching. When the offering plate was passed during a service, a young boy placed the plate on the floor, stood up, and stepped into it. When asked to explain, he replied that he had been deeply touched by the minister’s life, and while he had no money to give, he wanted to give himself wholly to God.”
That is, in essence, what we are doing when we pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” It is as if we are stepping into the offering plate and declaring, “I give myself to God. It is as if we are saying to God, “Take the lead in my life, and do with me and through me what you choose to do.”