“My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus.—John 18:36
The kingdom of God was the motif running through everything Jesus taught. However, I pick up many Christian books and magazines today and find that, with one or two exceptions, the kingdom of God is not mentioned. Yet Jesus made it the central note of His preaching and also His praying.
It is time now to ask ourselves: What exactly does Jesus mean when He uses the word “kingdom”? The word for kingdom (basileia in the Greek) means “rule” or “reign.” The kingdom of God, then, is the rule or reign of God, His sovereignty, for which we are to pray. Jesus spoke of the kingdom as being in the present as well as in the future. In Luke 17:21 He said, “The kingdom of God is among you.” Wherever there is a heart that is surrendered to the claims and demands of Jesus Christ, there the kingdom exists. But there is a day coming, says Jesus in Matthew 8:11, when both small and great will sit side by side in the kingdom and realize that in God’s order of things there are no favorites.
The Scripture tells us also that God has a kingdom that is established in the heavens (Heb 12:22-28), and the phrase from the Lord’s Prayer “Your kingdom come” is a petition for God to let that kingdom extend to every area of the universe where His rule is resisted. We are thus introduced to another great purpose of prayer—transporting to all parts of the universe, across the bridge of prayer, the power that overcomes all sin, all rebellion, and all evil.
Father, what can I say? When I see that You have given me the privilege of helping You usher in Your kingdom through prayer, my heart is overwhelmed. What confidence You place in Your redeemed children. May we be worthy of it. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Ps 93; 47:8; Ex 15:18; Mc 4:7; Rm 5:17
What does the psalmist conclude?
What is Paul’s expectation?