After praising God the Father, the next line of Jesus’ model prayer is a petition for God’s will to be enacted in and through our lives. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” Matthew 6.10 ESV.
The kingdom of God was an important theme for Jesus. The Gospel of Mark reports that Jesus began His ministry by announcing, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” Mark 1.15 ESV. For Jesus, the kingdom of God went beyond geographic boundaries and political territories. God’s kingdom was about God sitting on the throne of people’s lives.
To pray for God’s kingdom to come is to pray for God to take His rightful place on the throne of your life. You’re inviting God to have the same authority over your life as He does over heaven. You recognize that God knows and wants what is best for you and declare your intention to go His way rather than your own way.
Returning to God
Unfortunately, despite our best intentions, we often fall short. We sin. We fail. We wander. That’s why Jesus linked repentance with the kingdom of God when He started His ministry. Repentance is about returning to God and His path of life. So, the R in P.R.A.Y. stands for Return.
We can learn a lot of returning to God by noting King David’s words in Psalm 51. It’s known as a Psalm of repentance because it was written after David committed a great sin with a woman named Bathsheba.
Returning to God can be done in three steps:
- Confess your sin to God. First, David acknowledges the truth of what’s happened. “For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just” Psalm 51.3-4 NLT. He doesn’t make excuses for it; he accepts responsibility for it.
- Ask God to forgive you. David writes, “Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow” Psalm 51.7 NLT. Sin creates a stain on our lives that needs to be taken away and forgiven.
Fortunately, the Bible can be summed in one word: forgiveness. Though we have sinned against God and deserve His judgment, He forgives us because of His great love and compassion(Psalm 51.1).
- Accept God’s forgiveness. When we return to God, He forgives us. David writes, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me” Psalm 51.10 NLT. Knowing that he’s been forgiven, David begins to look to the future. “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you” Psalm 51.12 NLT. In other words, “May Your kingdom come and Your will be done in my list as it is in heaven. “