There is part of this prayer that has been sticking with me a lot lately.
We find this prayer in Scripture- words given by Jesus. Matthew 6:9-13
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Another translation says - "So above, so below."
I think we're way too passive about this part of this prayer.
We praise (hallowed be your name).
We ask for our needs to be met (daily bread).
We ask for forgiveness and ask that we be able to forgive others.
We ask that we be led away from temptation and kept safe from satan.
But in that first part... "On earth as it is in heaven." Your kingdom, Your will. It's happening in heaven, we pray that it happens here.
And if all we do is say the words... the prayer will never come to life.
Lately, when I say this pray, I have been trying to change my focus as I pray those words. I think I've always thought of them as a kind of beseeching - please bring your kingdom to us on earth. I've prayed it that way - this earth is terrible and bad things happen everywhere, everyday so please bring heaven to us.
Instead, I've been praying - please help me do Your will on earth. Please use me to bring Your kingdom to earth. Not asking for a gift of bringing heaven to earth but asking to be chosen to do the work of representing heaven here on earth.
Which then leads me to think about what heaven might actually be like. No sickness, no pain, no hate. I imagine a lot of singing - music like nothing we've ever heard on earth. I imagine lots of light and bright and freedom. I imagine this overwhelming, overflowing love that not only fills each of us but is also just present throughout heaven, in all things, in all creatures, in all spaces. Love that can't be defined or described - the love that simply is God.
So when I pray - "Your kingdom come," I'm really asking God to help me bring that love here, now. Help me to love everyone - especially those that are harder to love. Especially those that desperately need to know that overwhelming joy and excitement that comes from knowing and being filled by God's love.
I visited my friend's church in Ohio this past weekend. And he preached about God's love. About being so filled with joy and love that we can't help but dance and praise. About letting that joy overflow from within so that others want to experience this fullness, this love, this joy, this grace. About sharing Jesus with celebration in our testimonies but also in how we live each day so people witness God's love at work in our lives. That we love and sacrifice for God because of the sacrifice He made for us. And that when we finally accept that love from God, when we finally, really, truly "get it," that's when we find a new sense of rhythm. And that's when we can dance.
He asked the question - How do we lead others to experience the fullness of God's love?
Let Your Kingdome Come.
On Earth As it Is In Heaven.
Build Your Kingdom Here.
Use my hands and feet, use my life, let me be your funnel, let me be the light, let me overflow with the love so that others will want to come to You, to know You, to be filled with You.
If we all take part in this radical, uncomfortable, over the top, crazy way of loving each other - earth and heaven truly become more as one. His will, His kingdom - on earth.
So let it come. Let it come through me and through you and through our churches and our homes and our families. Let Your kingdom come and become in us.