“While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, and my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple.” (Jonah 2:7)
Asking for ‘the Kingdom of God to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven’ is a plea for Him to work right now in the circumstances we are facing. It’s not a longing for some future ideal of another place and another time… No, it’s a plea for help right here and now. Heaven is where God is… it is where His name is sacred, holy and known, it is where His will is known and perfectly abided in. Heaven is where Jesus is in us and God is in Him and we are perfected in unity; and this so the world knows that God sent His only begotten Son and loves them infinitely. It is where God’s glory, manifested in Jesus and given to those who ‘hallow His name’, shines with all its magnitude. (Adapted John 17:22-26)
Jesus’ example of prayer is telling us this is possible right here and right now. His prayer in the garden the night before His crucifixion illustrates this perfectly for us. It shows how in prayer our will comes in line with God’s will. Jesus knew it was God’s will to redeem all men to Himself and that it was only possible through His substitutionary death on the cross. His perfectly obedient life was the sacrifice that could consume ‘the cup’ filled with the ‘justified wrath of God towards all sin.’ He knew this was the plan for His life and He knew we would face great trials and headaches of our own. So in the Garden he showed us how in prayer and obedience to what we know, our human will could come into alignment with God’s perfect will… or ‘God’s kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.’
Scripture tells us Jesus prayed 3 times, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you (what He knows). Take this cup from me (His human will). Yet not what I will, but what you will (His perfect obedience to His Father in Heaven, whose name is hallowed in His life).”(Mark 14:36) Luke goes further in describing for us how Jesus’ mind was renewed, as “He prayed more fervently, and He was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood; an angel from Heaven appeared and strengthened him.” (Luke 22:43-44) How reassuring is that, as Jesus sought to align His will with God’s, seeking our Fathers kingdom and righteousness above all else, Our Father sent Heavenly help to support His will being done on earth.
When we walk in Jesus’ example, seeking God in prayer and in obedience to His Word, all of Heavens resources are poured into us, overflowing into our circumstances and causing His will be done. Jesus’ Prayer was answered, He was saved out of death and raised again to ascend to our Fathers throne; where “God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:9-11) And there He remains advocating for us to be strengthened as God’s will is done in our lives… as we follow His example.
God’s kingdom is being established; and He is accomplishing this even when it is least apparent that He is at work. Behind the scaffolding of tragedy and despair, God is establishing His kingdom of love and glory. When we think He is silent, when we feel God has removed His hand and we no longer sense His ever present warmth, He is at work accomplishing the greatest good for ourselves, for others, and for His eternal plan.(Stedman)
His kingdom and will is available right now for us to participate in… You only need to cry out to Him, ‘Abba Father, take this heartache or struggle away if possible; But not my will… but Yours be done today!’
Born of the Spirit with life from above into God’s family divine,
Justified fully thru Calvary’s love,
Oh what a standing is mine!
And the transaction so quickly was made, when as a sinner I came,
Took of the offer,
of grace He did proffer,
He saved me,
Oh praise His dear name!
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Savior made me whole
My sins were washed away,
my night was turned to day,
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!
Praying 4 U
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.