Praying Like Him: Seeking His Kingdom | Deeper Study with Annie Tibbs
“Thy Kingdom Come.’
Like the phrase “Our Father,,” or “My Father,” which was so often on the
Master’s lips, so the phrases, “the Kingdom of God,” or, “the Kingdom of
heaven” were frequently uppermost in His thoughts and teaching. It is no
wonder then, that He would introduce this theme into His prayer. It was such
an important concept that He makes it a very pointed petition to God, His
Thy Kingdom come!”
Praying, “Thy Kingdom come,” means asking the heavenly Father to help us in
our own lives to be faithful, obedient, authentic, and effective Christians. We
spread God’ s kingdom and the observable qualities of our character. (Matt.
7:16, 20, John 13:35 , John 3:10)
Even in the time of Jesus, His most ardent followers had real difficulty in
comprehending the Kingdom of God. Most of them were quite sure it referred
to an earthly empire which He would establish. The people of Israel were
weary with the burdens and angry at the abuse they bore under Rome’s rigid
rule. They were convinced Christ was their great, new emerging monarch who,
by supernatural force, would overthrow the oppressor. They were positive the
might of the foreigners would be shattered, and they would be set free again.
Because of this belief, the disciples especially were baffled and beaten by the
final bewildering sequence of events that led their Lord to a criminal’s
crucifixion at Calvary. It Seemed strangely impossible to them that their
Messiah, their Christ their Anointed One, should suddenly meet an
ignominious end. After all, was not the “Kingdom of heaver” always on His
mind and heart? Yet now it had suddenly come to nothing!
And in some measure, it is true to say that the Kingdom of God, even to this
day baffles people. For example, there are those who assert that “the Kingdom
of heaven,” referred to throughout Matthew; s writing, is quite distinct from
“the Kingdom of God” spoken of by Mark, Luke, and John.
Other scholars assert that “the Kingdom of God” is the social activity and
outreach of the church during this era of human history.
When Jesus uttered the simple request to His Father, “Thy kingdom come,” He
was not only thinking of the Messianic kingdom, but also implied that He was
inviting Him to establish His Kingship in the hearts and lives of men. In fact,
when any human being utters this prayer, if it is done in sincerity, it conveys
the request to have divine sovereignty, God’s government, sit up in a human
So what our Lord is saying in this prayer is.”Our Father... in heaven, hallowed
be thy name; thy kingdom come, meaning, “You, oh God, our Father, who art
Ruler of heaven and earth, whose authority is utterly paramount throughout the
universe, come and establish Your sovereignty as well in the hearts of people
on earth, and eventually upon the earth itself.”
PEOPLE PRAY IT BUT DO NOT MEAN IT.
When all is said and done, most of us from our earliest childhood believe we
are the king of our own castle. We determine our own destinies; we arrange
our own affairs; we govern our own lives. We become specialists in selfish,
self-centered living where all of life revolves around the epicenter of me, I,
So, if I sincerely, earnestly, and genuinely implore God to come into my life
and experiences, there to establish His Kingdom, I can only expect that there is
inevitably that there will follow a formidable conflict between His divine
sovereignty and my self-willed ego.
When I pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” I am willing to relinquish the rule of my
own life, to give up governing my own affairs, to abstain from making my own
decisions in order to allow God, by His indwelling Spirit, to decide for me
what I shall do.
Paul emphasized this concept in (1 Corinthians 3:16) Don’t you know that you
yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
Also, you are the temple of the living God. As God has said, “I will live with
them and walk among them, and I will be their God , and they will be my
people.” Therefore “Come out from them and separate, says the Lord.” Touch
no unclean thing and I will receive you. And “I will be a Father to you, and you
will be my sons and daughters,” says the Lord. (2 Corinthians6:16-18.
So when Christ said the simple yet profound petition, “Thy kingdom come,”
He envisaged His own future kingdom on earth and also the very Spirit of the
living God coming into a human heart at regeneration to make it His holy
habitation. He saw a human being as a temple, and abode, a residence of the
Most High. But He knew that only when such an occupied heart is held and
controlled by the indwelling Spirit could it be truly said that here indeed is a
part of the spiritual Kingdom of God where His will was done on earth.
An awareness of this fact can revolutionize our whole life. A keen sense of
God’s presence within can change our entire outlook, alter all our attitudes,
redirect all our activities.
The basic difference between a defeated, dismal Christian and a victorious,
vibrant Christian lies in whether or not God, by his Spirit, controls the life. If
He has there taken up sovereignty as well as residence in the soul, establishing
a bit of the Kingdom of God in this human heart, that person will know the
presence of God which will transform his entire being. It will become to him a
delight to do god’s bidding. It will be to him an honor to be God’s subject.
When there steals over our spirits an acute awareness that God does in fact
choose to reside within us, it is not nearly so difficult to vacate the throne of
our own lives in His favor. We find it is a joy to pay deference to Him. As
with David, we can say, “I would rather be a doorman of the temple of my God
than live in palaces of wickedness.”(PS 84:10)
We see ourselves now in an entirely new light. We see our lives as the
residence of divine royalty. We re the temple, the habitation of the Most High.
We are no longer kings in our own castles or bosses of our own houses. We are
but the doormen, the doorkeepers, whose responsibility it is to see that these
temples shall not be desecrated, damaged, or defiled.
This is the role of the priest. Peter, in his first epistle, chapter two, points out
clearly that as God’s royal priesthood, we have this honor and responsibility
before our King.
When that Kingdom does come, when it is established, what are its chief
attributes and characteristics? Paul tells us very plainly in his letter to the
church at Rome, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but
righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (R 14:17).
In other words, the government of God within my life establishes an inner state
in which righteousness, peace, and joy in a spiritual dimension dominate my
The Kingdom spoken of here is no outward, external empire of erratic
emotions. Instead, it is an inner condition of mind, will, and spirit in which
God’s will becomes my will.
Finally the joy which is a hallmark of God’s Kingdom is not a state of
happiness dependent on changing circumstances or on what is happening
around us. It is, rather, a serene, stable spirit known only to those who enjoy
the presence of God’s person within their lives. They sense and know that the
King is in residence. In this awareness, there lies enormous assurance and
quiet joy. They can be confident that, under Christ’s control and through the
guidance of His Spirit, their relationships with others, as well as themselves,
can be free from fear and joyous with the strength of God, no matter how
tempestuous life may be.
All of this is bound up in the coming of God’s Kingdom into a man’s life. The
benefits are beyond our fondest hopes. They can be ours if, in sincerity and
earnestness, we mean what we say in addressing our Father and requesting.
“Thy kingdom come.”