This, then, is how you should pray:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.” Matthew 6:9-10a.
It can be easy to be dismayed by all the evils of the world. Last week alone there was news of 500 men and boys in Nigeria who had been falsely imprisoned and tortured. It has been a particularly brutal hurricane season in the Caribbean with scores dead and thousands displaced. There are literally billions of people living in what most of us would call poverty.
Our own efforts to resolve some of these ills seem to have done more harm than good. Our medical advances have spawned an ever hastening war between viruses and immunizations to see which can mutate faster. Our generous “aid” to many developing nations has deindustrialized their domestic industries. At some point, we may have to admit we aren’t very good at saving ourselves.
We might well look to heaven in despair and wonder where Jesus is in the midst of it all. His kingdom broke through into our world over 2000 years ago at the Nativity. And yet, today, we can struggle to see His advance.
First, take comfort my friends. Jesus said the kingdom is within you (Luke 17:21). If it is within us, then we can take the fight to the Enemy with God alone as our ally. Let His kingdom be your kingdom. And let His kingdom come in your house:
- Be kind to your family.
- Sacrifice for your spouse.
- Repent of your sin.
- Speak the truth of God over your friends.
- Share what you have with the less fortunate.
There is almost no end of ways that you can advance the kingdom without the help of anyone but the Spirit of God.
Your actions may not stop wars, halt climate change, or end racial discrimination. But the Lord also said His kingdom was like leaven (Matthew 13:33). Whatever you do to advance the Kingdom of God will spread. Eventually the whole earth will be impacted by your simple acts of courage and obedience. Let His kingdom come in you, my friends, and watch to see all that the Lord can do from simple obedience like ours.