Thy Kingdom Come

Stephen Shaffer

READ : Habakkuk 2:7-14

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD. . . . (v. 14)

Once, when Jesus’ disciples asked him how to pray, he responded by teaching them to pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). Jesus taught them—and us—to pray that God’s kingdom would come and God’s will be done across the world.

This prayer goes back at least as far as Habakkuk. Israel had been unfaithful and turned away from God. God had used the Chaldeans to discipline them, but they had overstepped their bounds. Israel was surrounded by powers filled with violence, greed, and oppression. Few knew and obeyed the Lord. God’s kingdom looked small and insignificant when placed against these powers. Yet, God promised a day when the whole earth would know of the Lord. God’s glory would not remain in the temple or simply among the people of Israel, but would extend to every nation. God’s kingdom would cover the face of the earth—not through violence and might, but through “knowledge of the glory of the LORD.”

We already see glimpses of this prayer being answered. In Jesus, the glory of the Lord has extended far beyond just the geography of Israel. The day will come when the Lord’s Prayer will become a visible reality—“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Until that day, we still lift our prayers with Habakkuk.

PRAYER

Father, may your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.