[Jesus] said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
Thy Kingdom Come
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come.” But what is God’s kingdom? And how does it come? In his Small Catechism, Martin Luther explained it this way: “God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives his Holy Spirit so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and lead a godly life now on earth and forever in heaven.”
Has God answered your prayer? Has his kingdom come to you and others, as you’ve requested every time you’ve prayed the Lord’s Prayer? Perhaps it doesn’t seem so. I know I don’t always live in a way that shows that God is the king of my heart. And while I do believe that Jesus died for me and that my sins are forgiven because of him, I don’t know that I would compare my struggling faith in him to a “kingdom.” In fact, all too often, I’ve become frustrated with not seeing enough evidence of spiritual growth—either in my life or the lives of other Christians.
But Jesus helps us to understand the way that God answers our prayer for his kingdom to come. Just as a seed grows after it has been planted, so God’s kingdom comes slowly but surely, almost imperceptibly at times. Just as God works through the laws of nature that he established to give life and maturity to a growing plant, so the Holy Spirit works faith in us through the gospel of Jesus so that over time we produce its fruits in the form of love and good deeds.
So have patience with yourself and have confidence in the power of God’s word. Even at this moment, it is quietly at work within you.
Dear Father, your kingdom comes even without my asking. But I pray that it comes to me and my loved ones also. Amen.
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