“Now… and Not Yet”
by Nicole McLeod
Please open in your Bible to Matthew 6

I am glad you’ve joined us today as we continue our study of the Lord’s Prayer. As we are studying this prayer verse by verse, we are looking at it as a blueprint, or a pattern to help us, as a framework to inspire us in our devotional prayer life. Jesus taught this prayer model - seven petitions that He wanted His followers to learn to pray. We could say that these are God given prayer requests that show us how to pray about what He sees as important. This leads us to not only pray for our own concerns, but to pray for God’s concerns, and to help us see what His concerns are. These verses are a treasure chest of spiritual truths to help us, when we pray, to focus on living for Christ and for His Kingdom

Prayer is at the heart and soul of our spiritual life, and prayer is our vital communication with God. What a comfort it is, to know that in whatever difficulties we are facing today, whatever decisions we are having to make, whatever concerns weigh us down, we can come to God our Father, anytime, and pray for Heaven’s help, and know that we are heard and seen and loved, for we live in Christ and He lives in us, He is our Lord and King, to Him be all the glory!

We will finish the first half of this prayer today. We have already seen that the first half of this prayer model centers on God’s glory and the second half of the prayer centers on mankind’s needs. So today, we will be looking at what it means to pray Father, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as in Heaven (Matt 6:10).

Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, as we come to the subjects of Your kingdom and Your will, I pray you would help us grasp the meaning of the verses we study today. And may our hearts be open to all You have for us in this teaching, in Jesus name.

Last week we studied the first verse of this prayer, Matt. 6:9 “In this manner, therefore, pray, Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.”

Our focus in prayer always begins with Our Heavenly Father to whom we pray… and as the old hymn says: the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. We pray that He will be known as loving, merciful, holy, majestic, powerful and glorious… as He truly is. Knowing how much He loves us sets us free to pray in childlike faith – our prayers do not have to be sophisticated, or sound professional, we are to pray in intimacy and sincerity.

Matt. 6:10 “Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as in heaven.”

The Greek word for kingdom em>(basileia) means rule and reign, mentioned 162 times just in the New Testament. Here we express our longing for God’s righteous rule and reign on earth, and for His good and perfect will to be done on earth, as in Heaven, especially His will that the gospel of Christ may be advanced everywhere.

The Kingdom of God (also referred to as the Kingdom of Heaven) is a key thread that runs throughout the Old and New Testament scriptures and is the central theme of Matthews gospel.

This prayer, Your kingdom come is a prayer invitation that relates both to the present and to the future. When John the Baptist, and Jesus, came preaching: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2, 5:17) they spoke of something the Jews had been waiting for with anticipation for centuries – the promised Messiah who would restore the Davidic dynasty and rule as King. They hoped and prayed it would be in their lifetime, looking for Messiah to come and deliver His people. And He will return someday to fulfill those promises.

Throughout His ministry on earth, Jesus taught His disciples about God’s kingdom. In Luke 4:43 He said, “I must preach the kingdom of God; for therefore am I sent.”  Fifty-three times in the four gospels Jesus spoke of the kingdom. So, when He went throughout Israel proclaiming the “gospel of the kingdom,” He was bringing the “good news” to them that the kingdom was in their midst, for He was with them. He said wonderful things like, Luke 12:32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Jesus told Pilate in John 18:36 “My Kingdom is not of this world” It is a spiritual Kingdom; a realm of His authority and we want to see more of it and more souls come into it.

The apostle Paul wrote this, Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat and drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” It is the Spirit filled life.

1 Cor 4:20 (NLT) “For the kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk, it’s living by God’s power."

Even after Jesus rose from the grave, we read in Acts 1:2-3, that “He (Jesus) appeared to His disciples, and He gave them commandments pertaining to the kingdom of God.”  So, it was the kingdom message, again, for forty days, teaching them more about rule and His reign.

Matthew 6:10a “Your kingdom come;”

On a personal level, when we pray, “Your kingdom come,” we are inviting the Lord to come into our lives and transform us, and rule and reign over us. This is a prayer of surrender, as we turn away from self and sin, to Him, from our own kingdoms to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. Alan Redpath said, “Before we can pray, ‘Thy Kingdom come,’ we must be willing to pray, "My kingdom go.’” Wherever God rules over a human heart, there the kingdom of God is established. If you have prayed and asked Jesus Christ to rule and reign over your life, then the Kingdom of God is within you.

*note: “All members of the Kingdom are former sinners who have been declared righteous (Justified), they have been washed (with the "water of the Word") and sanctified (set apart at the time of their reception of Jesus as Lord and Savior, made holy or set apart from the world and unto God for His kingdom work, one aspect of which is prayer for His Kingdom to come”

At a church service in 1986, I raised my hand as a white flag of surrender and prayed to receive Jesus Christ as my own Savior and Lord. I invited Him to take the throne of my heart and life, to fill me with His Spirit, love and peace, and prayed He would rule (from heaven, on earth and use my life for His glory. “Truly, truly” Jesus said, in John 3:3 “I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” It is a transformational prayer. I knew I was changed, my eyes were opened, and my desire to know God came alive. I was so thankful to be forgiven of my sins and part of his body, the church. Where Jesus is loved and worshiped and believed upon, there the kingdom of God is in the midst.

It's a transformational prayer, but it is also a missionary prayer. It’s evangelistic. Your kingdom come.It’s the Great Commission Jesus left with the church,

Matt. 28:18-20 “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”

All authority - all divine authority has been given to Him in heaven and on earth. The authority to forgive sins, calm storms, authority over the powers of darkness. And as He sends us to take the message of God’s love to all, He is with us, always. He gave this commission to imperfect disciples like us. We do not look to ourselves to do the impossible task of reaching the world for Christ, rather He promised that His power would be available to His disciples through the Holy Spirit. We saw this when we studied the book of Acts. It’s the promise of His presence with us as we reach out with the gospel and with His love.

Acts 1:6-8 tells us “the disciples gathered around Jesus and asked Him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The disciples were asking Jesus about the time of the promised kingdom that is still yet to come, when He will return to earth to rule and reign in righteousness. His purpose was not to come to tell them when, but He told them, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, to be my witnesses …

So, when we pray Your kingdom Come, we are asking God to do the very thing that Jesus promised He will do, return to set up His kingdom on earth. We believe that Jesus could come any time for His church, and we are praying for these things too.

It’s important as we are watching and praying for the second coming of Christ, to stay busy about the work He has given us to do, whatever our part is and wherever He has called us to serve and glorify Him until he returns to take us home. May He find us worshipping Him, fellowshipping, studying, praying, serving, walking with Him, sharing our faith, as faithful and obedient citizen of the kingdom, praying that many will come into the kingdom through our witness.

1 Peter 4:7 “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore, be serious and watchful in your prayers.”

Jesus could return any day. We are asking God to do the very thing that Jesus promised He will do. Rev. 11:15b “and he shall reign forever and ever…”

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Remember, the delay in Christ's return is evidence of God's patience, and grace. God is willing to give more time for more people to come to repentance and may they. It’s important we be praying for the second coming of Christ, but it’s very important to be living with Christ here and now.

The apostle John wrote, Revelation 22:20 “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Matthew 6:10b “Your will be done on earth as in Heaven.”

As Judy reminded us last week, the purpose of prayer is not for getting man’s will done in heaven, but for getting God’s will done on earth. This is why we begin our time in prayer with what is most important God’s glory, His kingdom and His will be done on earth as in Heaven.

What do we mean when we pray, Father, “Your will be done on earth as in Heaven”? Again, our prayer is both personal and global.

On a personal level: We pray for the will of God to be done in our lives. As we pray this, we need to also be willing to submit our will to His perfect plans and purposes. We’re agreeing that God’s will and ways are infinitely better than our own thoughts feelings and plans. We are naturally self-willed and some of us may even be strong willed children ;).

James 4:13-15 warns us not be boastful about our plans for our future James 4:15 “Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”

The will of God is the Greek word thelēma. On one hand, this refers to the purposes of God to bless mankind through Christ, that is God’s will. And in another sense, it refers to what God wishes to be done in and through our lives – His will for us. We seek this in prayer, praying Your will be done in and through me, Lord.

Matthew Henry’s commentary (paraphrase): We pray: "Lord, do what You please with me and mine, and enable me to do what is pleasing to You. give me the grace I need, and the knowledge of Your will, and an obedient will to do it. Let thy will be done by me and by others, not our own will, - the will of the flesh, or the mind, not the will of other people for us), and much less Satan's will, that we may not displease You God in anything we do, nor be displeased at anything God does”.

In Romans 12:1-2, the apostle Paul wrote: Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

Your will be done. We yield to Him, we let Him transform our lives. . 2:13 “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."

I’d like to see God’s will being done all over the world, but it starts with me. I yield my life and plans to Christ, so His kingdom may come and will be done, and may He use our lives as we listen to His Word and His still small voice leading us.

Your will be done was the prayer of Mary after the angel Gabriel had revealed to her the will of God, that she would give birth to His son Jesus. She is a wonderful example to us of surrender to God’s will. Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” Mary became the bearer of the Messiah, the Son of the living God because she prayed that God’s will be done in her life, and the world was transformed because she lived that prayer. Can we as well? We should never be afraid to commit an unknown future to a known God.

“Aging with Grace” by Susan Hunt “When we put down the pen, stop trying to write our story, and the stories of others, and wholeheartedly trust the author of our story to write his gospel story in our lives, we begin to see the mundane and miserable moments as essential sentences that eventually become a majestic story of grace.”

We provide a surrendered heart, and God writes the rest of our stories.

Finally, and ultimately, Jesus Himself is the perfect example of prayer and submission to the Father’s will. Just prior to his arrest and crucifixion he prayed three times, Matt 26:39 “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Nevertheless, Your will be done. You do as You see is best.

In closing, we pray these prayers to Honor our Father in heaven, to pray for personal transformation, to pray for global evangelization and to see Christ come again as promised. We know that His will is ultimately going to be accomplished, in heaven and on the earth, and praying this this prayer helps us keep our priorities and goals in line with His. We line up our hopes and dreams with His, and May His will be done as we pray. Amen. “Now… and Not Yet”