“Lord, now lettest thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem for his dedication. When they entered the temple area, a man named Simeon, who was a true believer in Jehovah God, approached them and took Jesus up into his arms. With a powerful message from the Holy Spirit, he proclaimed, “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” This was confirmation of Jesus’ name which means “Jehovah saves.” Jesus is Jehovah, the One who saves.
How appropriate that in the Lord’s Prayer Jesus should include a petition that speaks of salvation. In the words, “Thy kingdom come,” we find a wonderful evangelistic message. When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, He proclaimed, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). When He instructed the disciples to pray “Thy kingdom come,” He was teaching that prayer should include the request that the gospel would reach those who are lost in sin.
Every person in the world needs this message because all of us have been born into a kingdom of darkness. Satan who is the god of this world has blinded the hearts of men so that they cannot see the light of the gospel (2 Cor. 4:3-4). In order for people to be saved, they must be told the gospel of Christ and the Holy Spirit must open their hearts to understand the good news of salvation. When the Holy Spirit opens the heart through regeneration, at that point a person is capable of expressing faith. This is equivalent to Jesus’ words about seeing the kingdom of God. Thus we see that when Jesus instructed with the words “Thy kingdom come,” He was expressing most vividly the work that He came into the world to do. “Jehovah saves” is His mission. Man is truly blessed when His heart is conquered by the King of all kings and then by faith he is translated from the kingdom of darkness into the glorious light of the kingdom of God.
This aspect of the kingdom must be proclaimed by those of us who are now in the kingdom of God. In other words, Jesus instructs you to pray for the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20. This means He intends that you should have a part in helping the kingdom come. Your prayers and your efforts in witnessing are the methods by which the kingdom is increased. If you are not a part of the program to bring in the kingdom of God in this way, then you certainly cannot pray the next petition, “Thy will be done.”
The Lord’s Prayer begins with God’s program which is the “Thy” petitions. Following these are the “our” petitions, which are really the basic necessities for us to be able to carry out the “Thy” petitions. God’s kingdom comes when we recognize that both “Thy” and “ours” are for God’s glory and His alone.
Pastor V. Mark Smith