Prayer Part 3: "Thy Kingdom Come"

Posted on 10/14/2007 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

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TRANSCRIPT: (may not contain everything found in the audio above)

Good morning and welcome! A special welcome to our visitors. If you have not received a visitor welcome card, please be sure to click the welcome sign in the foyer before you leave.

Let's all stand to our feet and open today's service with prayer.

Lord, thank you for your presence with us here today. You are our guest of honor, our reason for gathering here. Take center stage in our hearts and minds, as we seek a closer walk with you.

We pray for our brothers and sisters who have requested our prayers.

Lord, we pray for Ryan, who says he wants to believe in you. We know that he would not have such a desire unless you had given it to him. Thank you for his searching, and we ask that you would put witnesses in his path to testify of you, and that you would protect him from the deception that is waring for his soul. We claim Ryan for the Kingdom of God, in Jesus' name!

We ask that you hear Sir Humphrey's prayers for the Church of England. We ask that you pour out your Holy Spirit upon them, and may revival break forth as you draw each one into a real, personal, life-changing relationship with you.

We pray for Raquel's husband Bernie, who is addicted to crack cocaine. We ask that you would reveal to him the path he's on, and that you would bring him to the place he needs to be to fall on his knees in full surrender to you. We also pray for protection for Raquel and for their children.

And now Lord, I pray for each one here or reading or listening later. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us. Open our ears and hearts to the word you want to speak to us today. And may we be drawn ever closer to you.

And it's in Jesus' name we pray.

Amen.

Click-touch the pulpit for a notecard, and let's worship God with song.


HIS BANNER OVER ME

He is the Vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the Vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the Vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He is the Shepherd and we are his beloved,
His banner over me is love.
He is the Shepherd and we are his beloved,
His banner over me is love.
He is the Shepherd and we are his beloved,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He calls us to His Banqueting Table,
His banner over me is love.
He calls us to His Banqueting Table,
His banner over me is love.
He calls us to His Banqueting Table,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!


MIGHTY IS OUR GOD

Mighty is our God
Mighty is our King
Might is our Lord
Ruler of everything

His name is higher,
higher than any other name
His power is greater,
for he has created everything


TO HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE

To him who sits on the throne
     and unto the Lamb
To him who sits on the throne
     and unto the Lamb

Be blessing and glory
     and honor and power forever
Be blessing and glory
     and honor and power forever


Thank you Lord for your presence with us here today! Thank you that you are King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Thank you that no matter what we're facing today, you are our answer.

Speak to us now through your Word, and make us a little more like you.

Amen.


You may be seated.


For the past few weeks, we've been talking about prayer, seeing how each part of what's generally called "The Lord's Prayer" is actually a piece of an outline, and if we use each part as a topic about which we can pray, then we'll never again have the excuse of not knowing what to say as a reason not to pray.

If you haven't been able to join us for the last few services, I encourage you to go to almcyberchurch.org and click Archives to listen.

Today we're on part three, "Thy Kingdom Come."

So far in our prayer, we've acknowledge God as our Father and just taken some time to crawl up into his arms as a child would a good father who loves them.

We've reflected on and praised God for his name, his character, as revealed throughout Scripture and through his names therein.

And now, continuing in this attitude of love, adoration, reverence, and holy fear, we begin to ask him, "Thy Kingdom come."

What is the Kingdom of God? And what does it mean to ask for his Kingdom to come?

When Jesus spoke, he most often used earhtly things to represent spiritual things. So let's ponder what makes up an earthly kingdom, so we can better understand the Kingdom of God.

A kingdom, first of all, has a king. A king is the highest power in the kingdom, and yet a good king must abide by his own laws. On whatever the king sets his royal seal, it is so.

Imagine a subject running into the king's court uninvited. Of course he wouldn't make it past the gates, much less into the throne room. Imagine on the other hand what the consequences would be if the subject were invited, but refused to come.

Or suppose a subject did come into the throne room and stood before the king without bowing. I guarantee that in one way or another, he or she would be humbled very quickly.

So it is with God.

God is the sovereign ruler of the universe and beyond. Whatever he says, it is so. And yet he abides by the laws he has written.

If you ever believe God is telling you, for example, to leave your faithful spouse for another, even if it's some great ministry calling, that simply is not God.

If you believe God is telling you to rebel against authority, except in the case that they're telling you to sin against clear Biblical law, that's not God, for he has commanded us to submit to those in authority and respect them.

If you believe God is telling you it's okay to compromise even the tiniest bit with his nature and his Word, it simply isn't God. Didn't he say that friendship with the world is enmity with God? And didn't he tell us to live holy and righteous lives? God will not go against his own Word.


Just as in an earthly kingdom, so too in the Kingdom of God, we must have an invitation if we are to approach the throne and the presence of God.

Well, this is already covered. In Revelation 22:17 we read, "And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And  let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life  freely."

Since this is the case, let's imagine what would happen if the subject were invited but refused to come. Scripture makes it plain that there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. We can accept the Great King's invitation and drink until our thirsty souls are satisfied, or we can refuse his call and spend eternity where all those who reject everlasting life go, to a place of eternal torment outside of the life and comfort-giving presence of the King.

You see, Jesus said in John 14:6, "I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me." If we think we're choosing life while not choosing Jesus on his terms, then we're only fooling ourselves. Jesus IS THE Life. And if we are not walking in him, we are choosing death.

So I proclaim the Word of the Lord to you, "Choose you this day whom you shall serve." Will you choose life or death? Heaven or hell? Jesus or some other way?

Jesus says to you today,

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

So don't leave here today without accepting the invitation of the Great King.


And as in our final example, imagine what would happen to any of us if we barged into a king's throne room and stood straight before him without bowing. We would be humbled very quickly.

And so it is with God. He says in James 4:10, "Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up." And in verse 6, "God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble."

If we try to come into his presence thinking we're something, or glorying in the flesh, or trying to draw attention to ourselves, then we are showing disrespect to and dishonoring the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and we can expect to be either humbled or broken.

But if we accept his invitation and come into his presence with our hearts humbled before him, then we will lift us up to our feet, and since we are choosing to glorify him in everything we do, say, and in the meditations of our heart, then he will lavish his glory upon us, and we will be filled to overflowing with the richness of the presence of the Lord.


So the Kingdom of God is shown in general order and likeness by earthly kingdoms. What else, then, can we learn?

First of all, kingdoms, or any successful societal structure, is made up of levels of authority and responsibility. The king is the highest authority, while those he appoints must submit to his authority and the authority who serve above them.

Without authority and submission to authority, we have a society rule called "anarchy." There have been a number of "anarchy experiements," if you will, and almost all of them have crumbled. The longest-standing such experiment has lasted just barely over a century, and while they still retain the flavor of their anarchist roots, they no longer are truly an anarchy.

The fact is, no matter how exciting such an idea seems, it's an attempt to succeed while breaking out of the order of the Kingdom of God. And the further away from God's order we stray, the closer to destruction we become.


Asking for God's Kingdom to be established and grow in our lives is something we'd better be serious about before we start praying for it. And if you have truly surrendered your life to Jesus, then you have already agreed to do things his way.

The Kingdom of God includes not only the laws of God, but also the ways of God.

For example, we can twist our way into believing we're not sinning by having pre-marital sex by pointing to examples in the Old Testament in which there did not appear to be any formal ceremony, and by pointing out that God brings the two together, not the government.

But in holding such a position, we're throwing out the Scriptures which tell us to submit to authority, and that by not doing so, we're rebelling against God.

We read this in Romans chapter 13, verses one and two, which say:

1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

Our society and our order of law state that if you do not have a marriage license, you are not married. So if you rebel against that and say, "Well I'm not doing that, because It's between us and God, not the government," then you are rebelling against the authority that has been set above you by God, and you are rebelling against God, and are outside of Kingdom order.

Does that mean we should stop praying if our government forbids us to pray? Or that we should start killing our unborn children if the government tells us it's our third and we're allowed only two? Biblical example is clear that when any authority tells us to disobey the Word of God, and I mean something clear not some foggy notion we concocted from unrelated Scriptures, when authority tells us to disobey the Bible, we should obey God rather than man. But other than a clear violation of Scripture, we cannot be in obedience and submission to God unless we are in obedience and submission to our authority.

So submission to authority is a vital part of the Kingdom of God in our lives. And not begrudging submission while grumbling under our breath, but from the heart, as unto God.

We read this in Colossians 3:22-24:

22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.
23 And whatever you do, do it with your heart as to the Lord and not to men,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

While this was addressed to servants, it applies to us all. The Kingdom principle behind this is that we are to submit to our authority with a good attitude, and do so as unto Jesus. We are not to just do so when they're looking, but even when we think they'll never know; for it is not man we serve, but we serve God by serving others. And it is not really a man or a government to whom we sumit, but we submit to God by submitting to the authority he has placed above us, knowing that if we do so with a good or bad attitude, we are serving God in the same way.


Kingdom order in our lives means righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 says, "For the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."

Remember that when we pray the model prayer outline, we are not praying only for ourselves. The first word is "Our," not "My," so we should remember this while praying.

This being said, it is true that righteousness begins with us, and ultimately that is our primary responsibility. We cannot force anyone else to live holy lives, we can only choose to do so ourselves.

So the Kingdom of God is righteousness. We should pray for God's righteousness to fill our lives, and for any unrighteousness to be exposed to us so we can repent of it and give it to God.

This is a good time to reflect on our lives, our attitudes, our thoughts, our actions, and say, "If there is any unclean thing in me, reveal it to me so I can turn from it and be changed a little more into your image."

This is also a good time to intercede for our family, our friends, our neighborhoods, our communities, and our nations. We might cry out, "God, forgive us for the sin of abortion! We cry out for righteousness to return to our land! Raise up righteous judges and righteous men and women in authority to hold up a standard and protect the voice of the unborn. And give us boldness and a fire in our bones so that we don't keep silent, and we cry out for justice for the innocent!"

Praying for our nation in ways like this may be the only reason the whole world is not already in total darkness.


The Kingdom of God is also peace. We are to seek peace and pursue it, and, as Romans 12:18 says, "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men."

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, "Blessed are the peace makers, for they will be called the children of God." And, I might add, they will be embracing one of the vital elements of the Kingdom of God.

Do we have peace within ourselves? If not, we need to pray that God would reveal the source of our turmoil, and that he would change us and set us free.

Do we have peace in our home? If not, then we need to pray for peace in our home, and pray that God would show us what we can do to help bring that peace.

Do we have peace in our neighborhood? In our community? In our nation? We should pray for peace, and pursue it.

Now I'd like to point out that this does not mean war is wrong. Sometimes, in this world filled with evil, war is the only way to protect the innocent and to gain peace, for there are many evil men and women whose life goal it is to take away the peace and freedom of others.

In fact, Scripture tells us about those who fight for peace, and in Romans 13:4 we read that they do not bear the sword in vain, but are God's ministers, avengers to execute wrath on those who practice evil. And since God ordained them to minister in this way, we are rebelling against God's order when we proclaim that using the sword to fight for peace and freedom is somehow wrong. If you believe that, take it up with God, because he's the one who gave them that job.


The Kingdom of God is not only righteousness, and the Kingdom of God is not only peace, but the Kingdom of God is joy in the Holy Spirit.

Are you filled with the Holy Spirit of God? All of you who have accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior are born of his Spirit. But so were the believers throughout Acts, some of whom had believed but had not even heard of the Holy Spirit. When they received the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, they spoke in other tongues and prophecied.

One clear example that there is indeed a difference is found in Acts chapter 18, verses 14 through 16, which say,

Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

So they had received the Word of God and had believed, and they had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. They were Christians, on their way to heaven. They had been born again by the Spirit of God. But we see here that there was still something missing.

"They prayed that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for as yet He had fallen upon none of them."

This righteousness, peace, and joy that are such integral elements of the Kingdom of God are "in the Holy Spirit." Certainly, when you surrender your life to Jesus, these elements are planted and begin to grow in your life. And yet God wants you to have more than the bare minimum. He even wants you to have more than joyous plenty.

In John 10:10 Jesus says, "The thief has come from nothing but to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they might have life in overflowing abundance." There is more. No matter how long you've walked with the Lord and no matter how much of his goodness and his Spirit you've experienced, there is so much more of the Kingdom of God, and we have barely even scratched the surface.

So cry out for more of God's Holy Spirit, and if you have not received that baptism in the Holy Spirit (and you will know when you have), cry out for that until you receive it. And then cry out for more.

"Thy Kingdom Come!"

So let us seek for peace and pursue it. Let us hunger and thirst after righteousness, and seek not how far we can go without sinning, but how pure we can become. Let us cry out for more of the Spirit of God, so that he flows out from us to all those around us. And let us submit to the Kingdom order of God in every area of our lives.


The ministry team can come to the front as we close with prayer.


If you have not yet entered the Kingdom of God, if you have not yet accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then this is the place to begin.

Just tell him this with me. Talk to him now, he's listening for your voice, and he is the one who drew you here today.

Say this: "Jesus, I accept you as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me for my sins, and make me a part of the family of God. Teach me how to have a personal relationship with you, and let your Kingdom order flow into my life. Thank you Jesus. Amen!"

This altar is open. Feel free to come to the front and stand or kneel in the presence of the Lord. And I encourage you to make this a statement to yourself and to God that you will begin to seek his Kingdom like never before. And, as Scripture promises, those who seek and keep on seeking will find.

Lord, thank you for your Word today. I ask that your Word would not return void, but will accomplish that for which it was sent. Produce fruit in our lives, as we seek a closer walk with you. And we ask this in Jesus' name.

Amen.

Come to the front and pray, or make your way to the room on your left where we'll meet together for fellowship later. And may this week to come find you seeking the Kingdom of God like never before.