Wednesday, October 25, 2017

2017-10-25 [Month of Mission 2017] A Kingdom Prayer -- Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will on earth as heaven

A Kingdom Prayer -- Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will on earth as heaven

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.      (Matthew6:9-13)
In this passage we see Jesus introducing a new concept about relationship between God and the faith community. We are God's Children and he is our Father. In Galatians 3:26 Paul says "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus" and in 2 Corinthians 6:18, Paul says 'And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," says the Lord Almighty'. As children of God our spiritual DNA shows that we are his offspring. In John 1:12 Jesus said, 'But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God', through faith we are God's children and Christ is our brother and friend.

We need to treat God with great respect (Hallowed be your name). In Exodus 20:7, the Bible says 'You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. The American Heritage Dictionary defines hallowed as, "sanctified; consecrated; highly venerated; sacrosanct." To hallow is "to make or set apart as holy. To respect or honour greatly; revere." In simpler terms, we often use hallowed to refer to someone whom we should treat with awe and respect because he or she deserves it.

God's kingdom has to do with His ways and order. According to John Calvin the Kingdom refers to the presence of God's rule on earth. So here we are asking that God's ways and order happens here, as they are fully obeyed in Heaven. This kingdom is spiritual which occurs in peoples' hearts, as well as eschatological which will come with outward glory and be fully consummated at some future date.

His reign in us has practical dimensions and so we have the great privilege place our needs before him and, through faith, we receive them (as we ask for daily bread). We also pray what St Augustine called the "terrible petition" because he realized that if we pray "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors" with an unforgiving heart, we are actually asking God not to forgive us. We also ask for God's protection preventing us from the affection and effects of sin.

This amazing prayer is about God's glory and His coming Kingdom. It is about allowing His reign to become reality in us and it invites us to ask for His help (daily bread, forgiveness and protection).
Talkmore Chilanga, husband to Rumbidzai, a father of four daughters (Esher, Megan and twins- Aliyah and Alyson). I am a minister in the UPCSA, serving at Mabvuku Congregation in Harare Zimbabwe

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