It’s a powerful thing to pray Thy Kingdom Come, or as we would say in modern English, Your Kingdom Come. It’s a prayer that summarizes the entire Bible. But it brings up a lot of questions: What is God’s Kingdom? How does it come to earth? When will it happen? Let’s explore what this means in the Bible.
What does Thy Kingdom Come mean?
To pray Thy Kingdom come means to invite God’s will in the world and to open to what God wants for your life. It is also looking forward to Jesus’ Second Coming to fully establish God’s reign. It’s a prayer that summarizes the entire Bible and what God wants to do on the earth.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Matthew 6:10 (ESV)
Jesus taught His disciples to pray “Thy Kingdom come” in the Bible, in Matt. 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4. It’s commonly called the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father. It captures the essence of what the entire Bible is about. It’s a very powerful prayer that aligns with the very thing that God is after in the world.
As with any prayer, it’s not a magical, mystical phrase that you can just say without knowing what it means. Let’s explore what the Bible says so you can understand what it means and open to everything that God has for you.
Your Kingdom Come Means to Invite God’s Reign
What is the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of heaven in the Bible?
The Kingdom of God is God’s rule and reign. It means that God is the King. When the Bible uses the phrase King of king and Lord of lords, it means that God’s throne is the highest. There are many presidents, prime ministers, and rulers on earth, but God’s rule and reign are above them all.
But doesn’t God do what He wants anyway? Why does Jesus teach us to pray this prayer? Is it even necessary?
We pray Your Kingdom Come because God looks for a people to partner with Him in seeing His will done on earth. The Bible teaches that God’s kingdom needs to be invited and welcomed. He is looking for a people who are surrendered fully to Him.
Thy Kingdom Come illustrates the truth that people need to invite God’s rule and power into the affairs of their lives through prayer. It’s not thinking “Oh, God will do it if He wants to…” It’s an active seeking. This is our responsibility and our great privilege.
God wants to restore the world to His original design. We experience brokenness in the world because of our rejection of God and His plan. This is why we have war, sickness, injustice, and all manner of brokenness in the world.
What God wants, desire, and wills is His Kingdom. His Kingdom is good, merciful, and full of wisdom. It’s His divine design. It’s not fulfilled on the earth yet, but it’s His desire. And He wants it to be our joy and desire too. He doesn’t force us. He wants us to mature to know that He is good.
This is the message of the entire Bible from beginning to end, Genesis to Revelation. God wants to restore and broken and hurting world to His original design, where there is no brokenness.
Jesus’ main message was the Gospel of the Kingdom.
The Gospel of the Kingdom, the Good News, is that Jesus’ reign will overcome all the sin and brokenness in the world. God is doing something about the brokenness and sin in our lives. Jesus entered into a broken and hurting world to die on the cross to restore mankind to God.
The diagram above shows this main theme of the Kingdom of God. It’s from an article where I explore The Main Message of the Bible: Its Central Theme & Purpose.If you want go more in-depth into what the Kingdom of God means I would recommend it.
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Matt. 6:9-13 (ESV)
Your Kingdom Come Means to Open to God’s Will
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Matt. 6:10 (ESV)
Jesus explains and expands what Your Kingdom Come means in the phrase right after it: Your will be done.
To pray Your Kingdom Come Your Will be Done, is to open to God’s will. It is to invite God to have His way instead of yours. It’s a yielding, openness, invitation for God’s will in your life.
One way to understand it is to think about the difference between God’s will and His purpose.
God’s will is not fully done on the earth yet. But, His purpose will be accomplished at the end no matter what.
God’s will is that everyone be saved, that marriages and families thrive, that communities live in peace. But people will to do what they want. You and I choose whether we want to do what God wants or what we want.
When we look at the world around us, we see that God’s will is not fully done. It’s His desire for us as the Creator and Father in heaven. We can still see traces of God’s beauty and His design. This is why we pray and this is why we invite God’s reign in the world and in our lives.
Right now, there is evil, wickedness, and lawlessness on the earth. It will continue to become more intense, and be fully mature and united in lawlessness. This is what Jesus explains in the parable of the Wheat and the Tares in Matthew 13:24-30,36-43.
God allows all this, but at the end, He still gets what He wants. After all, He is God. He allows a lot of things in the meantime, so that we will have time to choose Him.
Jesus reveals in the parable of the Wheat and the Tares that the opposite is true.
It might look like evil and lawless that the Enemy has sown is winning on the earth, but don’t be alarmed. God is equally raising up a people that will invite and do His will. God’s people, His church, will come to full maturity before Jesus returns.
The Church, people who repent and believe in the Good News of the Kingdom, is God’s answer to evil and lawlessness on the earth (Matt. 16:18). We may look weak, but God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. His purpose will triumph!
Before He went to the cross, Jesus prayed in Luke 22:42: “Not my will, but yours, be done.” If there was any other way than to die for the sins of the world, Jesus could have taken it. But He voluntarily laid down His life for you and me.
Jesus choose the Father’s will. He invites us to follow Him.
Here is a study I did on the Book of James. The emphasis that James gives in living out the Gospel is a great application of living and praying “Your Kingdom come.”
Thy Kingdom Come Means to Look Expectantly to Jesus’ Return
The Gospel is not complete without Jesus’ Second Coming.
Jesus’ message was that the Kingdom of God was at hand. Jesus, as the King, came to demonstrate the Kingdom through His words and actions. His ultimate act was to die on the cross to make a way for people to enter this Kingdom.
Yet, God’s Kingdom will not be fully on the earth until Jesus returns.
At Jesus’ Second Coming, He will fully establish God’s Kingdom on the earth by removing all the wicked and evil rulers. And He will remove all evil, wickedness, and lawlessness from the earth.
At His first appearing, Jesus came as a Suffering Servant to die for the sins of the world. At His Second Coming, Jesus is returning as the King and Judge. He is not coming as a baby in a manager but as the Judge to judge the world.
Jesus is also returning as a Bridegroom for His people. They will be as a Bride that has prepared herself for her Bridegroom. Will Jesus return to find a Bride that is ready to be equally yoked with Him? Will the Bride make herself ready? Yes, we will be ready because God is preparing His Church (Eph. 5:25-27).
When He returns, Jesus will remove all that hinders love. God’s will and purpose for earth will be fully realized. His plan will be fully realized. Every bit of sin and evil will be removed, including from our hearts.
God’s people will be transformed into the likeness of Christ (1 Cor. 15:52). It’s amazing to think that we will love God with nothing of the “bent” of sin in our lives. We will love God with an everlasting love even as He loved us.
The Devil and his angels will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, along with all those who have followed him (Matt. 25:41). The Lake of Fire is what we usually refer to in English as hell. It’s an everlasting proclamation of the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross to deliver us from sin and death.
It’s an everlasting declaration of the nature of the God as He upholds justice. That is the reason Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross. Jesus took the full cup of the Father’s wrath for us on the cross. He did not pass on the cup of the wrath of God. He did it for love. He did it for us. He did it with joy, even to take up His cross.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.Heb. 12:1-2 (ESV)
When Jesus returns, He is bringing heaven with Him. He is bringing the Kingdom of God fully to the earth. Ephesians 1:9-10 summarizes the entire Bible. God’s plan and purpose all along has been to bring heaven and earth together.
Making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.Eph. 1:9-10 (ESV)
To pray Your Kingdom Come Your Will Be Done is to look forward to the day when God’s will is fully done on the earth.
In heaven, God’s will is fully done. It will be done here on earth just as it is in heaven. This happens at Jesus’ Second Coming. Heaven and Earth will be united. And God Himself will dwell with mankind as that was His original design in the beginning.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”Rev. 21:1-4 ESV (emphasis added)
God created the heavens and the earth in Genesis.
He will restore and bring about a New Heaven and a New Earth, where there will be no brokenness or sin (Rev. 21:4).
Until then, God calls us to repentance and faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to fully surrender to Him, and to eagerly long for His return.
If you want to explore more on this topic, I would recommend this article: How Does the Bible End? (Link opens in a new window). In it, I explore what Bible says about Jesus’ glorious leadership at the end of this age.
What Does It Mean to Seek First the Kingdom of God?
In Matthew 6:33, Jesus says: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Jesus mentions this while telling His disciples not to be anxious about life (Matt. 6:25). God knows what you need (Matt. 6:32) and He will take care of you even as He takes care of all creation. Life is so much more than getting our needs met. To know Jesus is to know life (John 14:6).
How can you seek first the Kingdom of God?
- Start each day by inviting Jesus into your day. Pray “Your Kingdom Come Your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.”
- When you find yourself getting anxious about life, be reminded of Our Father in heaven. What are the things that keep you up at night? Learn to bring those things to the feet of the cross.
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.1 Pet. 5:7 (ESV)
It’s not wrong to seek the things that you need. Jesus says to seek God’s Kingdom first. Always seek to do the right thing in God’s eyes, what is approved by Him.
- Store up your treasures in heaven. Don’t live for this life only. First live for God’s Kingdom. Don’t let your pursuit of the things of this world define you. Seek to obey Jesus first.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.Matt. 6:19 (ESV)
God’s promise is that your needs will be met (Phil. 4:19). He will supply all your needs, your daily bread. The Lord’s Prayer follows this order. First is “Your Kingdom come…” Then we ask “Give us this day our daily bread.”
We live in a world that is experiencing brokenness caused by sin. People look for meaning in a successful career, a happy family, a secure future. These things cannot ultimately satisfy apart from God.
In light of these things, I think Jesus would say “Put your hope in me. Seek first the things I have for you. If you pursue the things in this world, it will lead to anxiety and hopelessness. Only my Kingdom can bring you peace and true joy.”
Let’s pray together with believers throughout history: “Your Kingdom Come.”
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