“When we pray for the kingdom of God to come we are pleading for the kingdom of Satan to be toppled. Like is so often the case when a tyrant is displaced, we want his statues to be defaced, toppled, and dragged in open view. We want Satan and all of his demonic scheming, tactical assaults, deadly seduction, hissing lies, and destructive systems to be shattered!”
It’s as humbling as it is fascinating to consider that God advances his kingdom agenda through the prayers of his people. Jesus instructs his disciples to pray for the kingdom to come (Matt. 6:10a). And the coming kingdom is the undying burden of God’s people. Those who love the King eagerly yearn for his kingdom to come.
But what does it mean to pray for it to come? Here are three aspects of this cry for the kingdom to come.
Cry of Loyalty
Some people have described the kingdom as God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule. I think this is a helpful orientation for this prayer. This kingdom has a physical and a spiritual aspect to it. There is a driving desire to return securely to Eden where God is rightly honored and his people are blessed with unimpeded access to God and his gifts.
When we pray, “Your kingdom come” there is a real sense of yearning and loyalty. We are anticipating the coming kingdom, on board with God’s agenda and that we love the King himself. Those who love the King eagerly yearn for his kingdom.
And through our prayers, it’s as if the Holy Spirit lifts our chins above our earthly horizon to see the fleet of God’s coming kingdom advancing on the open sea. And we cry, “Make haste! Come, O King and kingdom!”
This is also a convicting word, because we cannot cry “Thy kingdom come” while promoting our kingdom. Sin is an expression of disloyalty to the King. It is trading of crowns. It salutes the flag of self over the flag of Christ. Therefore, the cry of loyalty is also a cry of repentance. We want the kingdom to come in the world around us and also in us.
So we pray: O Lord, I see my disloyalty to you and hate it! Incline my heart to love you and your gracious and just administration so that I can eagerly long for your kingdom to come in this world!
Cry of Treason
The word treason gets tossed around liberally these days. Strictly speaking, treason is a crime of betraying one’s own country by breaking the law, and often by attempting to overthrow the government or kill its leader.
When I talk about this prayer being a cry of treason I mean that Jesus is teaching his followers to pray for the overthrow of the kingdom of this world, the coup of its leader, and the establishment of a new king. This is a cry of dissatisfaction. It wants a chance.
But, please note, I am not talking about the overthrow of the U.S. government—or any other natural government. Instead, I’m talking about the spiritual government of this world, led by Satan. He is the spiritual king of this world. Scripture calls him the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). He has a ruling seat (Rev. 2:13). His kingdom is darkness (Col. 1:13). He planted his flag in the ground in Genesis 3. He has set up dominion by storming the castle of our minds and hearts (Eph. 2:1-3; 2 Cor. 4:1-4).