Heidelberg Catechism Q.123

Q.123. What does the second request mean?

A. Your kingdom come means: Rule us by your Word and Spirit in such a way that more and more we submit to you.  Keep your church strong, and add to it.  Destroy the devil’s work; destroy every force and conspiracy that revolts against you and your Word.  Do this until your kingdom is so complete and perfect that in it you are all in all.


When we pray for God’s kingdom to come we are forced to ask some pointed and difficult questions:  Whose priority drives us?  Are our resources being used for God’s glory or for our self-glory? Whose words and opinions are most influential in our church?  These three questions and others like them will serve to challenge many of the prayers we pray for our ministries and our families.  They cut to the very core of our values and priorities by asking God to come into our lives and be numero uno.  Read Psalm 27 and pay particular attention to verse 8.


Kingdoms meet certain requirements. They have a king, subjects to rule over, land upon which they are sovereign and laws which must be obeyed.  Since Jesus is the Davidic King, God’s Kingdom is really Christ’s kingdom and all that Christ controls and rules over.  The Bible declares that every knee will bow to Christ and that all things are placed under his feet.  Therefore when we pray for the kingdom to come, we are asking for more of Christ’s authority and sovereignty to be made manifest in our world and our churches.  We are asking for more recognition and obedience to his ways of living.  We are asking for the great commandments to love God and neighbor to grow in adherence in the lives of men and women who may or may not know the name of Christ.  Read Matthew 16:18.


How does the kingdom come?  It comes through repentance.  When we repent we are turning away from sin and towards God’s ways and plans for living.  Repentance turns us towards Christ.  To pray for the kingdom is to ask for the Word and the Spirit to convict us and draw us from death to life.  Read Psalm 143:10.


The Kingdom also comes by evangelism when people recognize their own poverty and so enter into the Kingdom of grace.  To pray for the kingdom is to pray for missionary activity and evangelistic growth.  Who are you praying to come to faith?  What missionaries are you upholding in prayer?  Who are you sharing the gospel with?  These are also part of praying for the kingdom.  Read Ephesians 6:18-20, Colossians 4:3 and Philemon 1:6.


There are many real spiritual evils in our world.  Demons roam around seeking to blind the hearts and close the ears of people.  They enjoy suffering and pain and they are opposed to God’s plans of redemption.  To pray for the kingdom is an explicit act of warfare against a defeated army that hates the terms of surrender, which have been inflicted upon it.  When we pray for the kingdom to come we are asking God to silence ever evil that is opposed to Christ.  Read Romans 16:20 and 1 John 3:8.


We must continue praying for the kingdom to come until our Lord returns, for then and only then will the forces of evil be finally silenced and eternally destroyed.  Pray for Jesus to come back.  Read Romans 8:22-23 and Revelation 22:20.

About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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