There are days when the world’s problems can seem like too much. If you are like me, there are days when I read current events and I feel slammed with a sea of stories filled with tragedy, disaster, and injustice. Only wait a few more days, and we’ll have a fresh slew of information about human pain, tyranny, and death. As I read and hear more stories, humanity’s problems can seem endless, and any sense of reprieve seems unreachable. And it’s so easy to try to drone out these stories and ignore the headlines, and live for me and pretend like these things don’t exist.
And yet… God promises that life in His Kingdom invades the evils of the world and the Devil. I am met with the burning question, how do I respond to the pain of this world, especially in light of my belief that God’s Kingdom exists on earth now?
I am on a journey of learning what this Kingdom of God thing is really like. As we scan the Gospels, we see that Jesus spent a lot of time focusing on the Kingdom. In fact, most of Jesus’ teachings focused on some aspect of the Kingdom and how to enter it. And as Jesus preached and wherever he walked, the reality of the Kingdom arose. The hopelessness and brokenness of humanity came to a halt in His presence. This itinerant carpenter restored sick and ostracized people back to society, healed, and brought hope of a life filled with meaning and holiness. He called out religious hypocrisy and exposed corruption. He preached repentance from sin, today. The world was turned upside down as the light of the Kingdom of God shone down to humanity in the person of Jesus.
Today, we need that same, radical Jesus to show up and move through us. As we pray, “Your Kingdom come,” we cannot let it just be a trite saying. These are not archaic, historical words left to sit on dusty bookshelves. If the Lord’s Prayer is only a religious mantra, we need to ask God for forgiveness for calloused hearts. I am beginning to realize that praying our Lord’s Prayer means we are crying out for God’s holy reign and for Him to display His kingly rule and power. And why don’t we pray this more?
This is a picture I found that depicts Jesus the night before he was arrested to be killed. His prayers were far from trite and flippant, but rather desperate as he poured out his heart to his Father and pleaded for help and for his disciples. And I am sure he was in this posture A LOT as the Word notes that he often retreated to spend time with his Father throughout his time of ministry.
If you are like me, I can’t sit still anymore, and live a life of materialism and ease. I seems so contrary to Jesus’ lifestyle and commands that I choose to live for myself, my career, and my own comfort. This world is broken and messed up, and I need to let God reveal his power, his glory, and his Kingdom in and through me now. We need to get down on our knees and plead for His help and for Him to guide us. We have to or we are just not going to endure.
Do you also feel this restlessness, this juxtaposition? Do you also have a sense that things aren’t right and God needs to show up? How do you respond? How do you pray? Now is the time to collaborate and intercede like never before. We need an army of humble, love-filled people that are willing to engage this world and its monstrous issues and cry out, “God, reveal yourself. Please let Your Kingdom come…today!”