The Lord’s Prayer, Second Petition
Thy kingdom come.
Your kingdom come.
What does this mean? The kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come to us also.
How does God’s kingdom come? God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity.The Second Petition
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Generations ago, in the days of the one-room schoolhouse, a teacher was the queen of her classroom. While she (or he) had a school board to answer to, she was the ultimate authority in her schoolhouse domain. Well into the twentieth century, even as schools and classrooms grew in size, the teacher could close his or her door and be the benevolent dictator, undisturbed by outside forces. Teaching is no longer a solitary, close-your-classroom-door, experience. It tends to be much more like a team sport today, with our classroom doors wide open. Regardless of the size of the school, teachers often work with one another, and with administration and volunteers. We are no longer the singular force in our classrooms. We are not a country of kings and queens. In fact, we were founded on an anti-king platform.
Our negative history with kings might make us a little uncomfortable praying “Thy (Your) kingdom come” in this petition. What are we really asking for? What does God’s kingdom look like anyway? I know a pastor who often says, “The kingdom is where the king is.” So when we pray “Thy kingdom come,” we’re also praying for the Lord to come into our classrooms.
Grace and truth, love and light. Those are elements of God’s kingdom, embodied in our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we pray “Thy kingdom come,” that is what we are praying for—that grace and truth, love and light abound in our classrooms. Yes, we are still responsible for setting up the structure of our classrooms and providing good order to the best of our abilities, but our King Jesus is the ultimate authority and giver of all good things in our classroom. What a relief that we don’t have to do it all. We aren’t responsible for being the Savior of these children in our charge.
God provides all good things in our classroom whether we pray for it or not. But we know God loves to hear our prayers. And praying this part of the prayer reminds me of what’s headed my way—the kingdom of my loving Father! Hooray! In the midst of the darkness of this sinful and broken world, I am confident that God reigns triumphant. I don’t have to be the queen (or king), the ruler of all things. I couldn’t, even if I wanted to. God will fill our classrooms with grace and truth, love and light.
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