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thy kingdom come – what should we pray for?

May 10, 2018

today marks the first of 10 days of prayer. The “thy Kingdom Come” global call to prayer is simply asking the church, all across the world, to pray the words contained in the Lords prayer; Thy Kingdom Come.

But what should we be doing, if we have 10 days to pray where do we focus?

As I reflected on this today I was reminded of the end of the story. This is not the end, a world where we are faced by injustice, a lack of compassion, and evil is not the end, when we pray thy kingdom come we are asking for Jesus to bring His kingdom into the here and now of everyday life today. So what does that look like?

The prophet Isaiah give us two pictures of what the Kingdom may look like: In Isa 61, we get a picture of what the entry of the Kingdom may be like:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

in other words a transformation of individual lives, the poor, the hurting, the captives find solutions to their troubles and society, our place/ our city becomes a place of hope. What would it take for that to happen?

justice, resources for the poor, well-being and peace for those who have experienced trauma, homes for the homeless, healthcare for the sick, hope for the hopeless, jobs, acceptance of the outsider/immigrant… lots of things to pray for here! … and we know that these are the things God wants in our world, so there is every reason to keep praying.

The second picture is in Isaiah 65:

17 ‘See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice for ever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. 19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.20 ‘Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed. 21 They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They will not labour in vain, nor will they bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the Lord, they and their descendants with them. 24 Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. 25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,’ says the Lord.

 

This picture shows us the world God wants, the world he is about to recreate, the world where he reigns supreme. Not only are some of the problems with the world now beginning to be put right, not only is there hope… but there is no regret or sorrow over past mistakes and failures, there is an awareness of the lavish love of God for us, there is a standard of long and healthy lives, there is satisfaction in the labour of our hands – whether we are builders or gardeners – there is ecological peace. If this is what the kingdom looks like – these are the things we should be praying for.

I hope and pray that God meets with you and awakens hope within you as you pray “thy kingdom come” over the next 10 days.

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