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When Jesus taught His disciples to pray He started the pattern with requests that calibrate our perspective. The first thing we ask our Father in heaven to do is hallow His own name. May He create reverence for His holy glory deep in our hearts and wide among the nations.

The second and third requests are related to the hallowing of His name as well as to each other: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” I want to focus for now on the kingdom appeal.

Sometimes we’re told by Bible people that our prayers should be “more spiritual.” I have mocked the request a young man made once for his grandmother’s neighbor’s printer before, not so much because I think it shouldn’t be prayed for but because that junior high student had to have needs closer to his heart. I recognize that later in Matthew 6, Jesus says “seek first the kingdom of God” and things like food and clothing “will be added to you.” I love Paul’s prayers for the saints that they would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

These are spiritual but they are not unearthly requests. They are not requests that we hope to see fulfilled in heaven at some future day in the eschaton. Praying for His kingdom to come isn’t only for postmillennialists. Seek first the kingdom of God as God sends it to earth.

He is our Father. He is our holy God. He is our King. We’re His family, we’re His worshipers, we’re His subjects. When we ask that His kingdom come, we’re asking for His final victory but also for current visibility. As His kingdom comes we will be less stressed about food and clothes at this moment, we will not be collecting a catalog of the transgressions against us, we will give up trying to set up our own mini-kingdoms. This means we’re praying for our own obedience as a means to hallow His name in the present. There are characteristics of His kingdom that we want to see established here on earth, now not later. May His kingdom come.