And he said to them, When you pray, say, Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done…
People sometimes question whether prayer is ever answered; but here is a prayer that Christians have been offering now for eighteen hundred years, and if you want to know whether it has been answered, read the whole of history since Christ ascended. "Thy kingdom come!" the disciples prayed, and presently a bloody persecution fell upon them in Jerusalem, and drove them forth from the holy city, and made them homeless wanderers. That was a strange way of answering the prayer. But "they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word." Up and down the rugged roads of Palestine they went proclaiming the glad tidings of great joy. It was not long before the messengers found their way over the heights of Mount Taurus, and here and there a centre of light was kindled in the dark provinces of Asia Minor; then the voice came to Paul summoning him to Macedonia, and Europe was invaded by the intrepid apostle, who planted the standard of the gospel on the classic fields of Philippi and on the heights of the Areopagus. From these small beginnings the leaven of Christianity has spread, until now nearly a third part of the human race acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord "Thy kingdom come!" good Christians prayed. And He who hears the cry of His children came down to earth and stretched forth His hand to woman, so long the slave of man's power, and the drudge of his indolence, and the victim of his passions, and lifted her up, and clothed her motherhood with dignity, and her womanhood with divinity, and gave us by her hand the blessings of home, the best of all earth's precious things. "Thy kingdom come!" the strong of faith were crying; and a Presence unseen by men stood among the prisoners in the dungeons that were festering dens of disease and vileness, and laid its gentle hand upon these hapless children of the evil, and lifted the weight of hate and scorn that made their lot so desperate, and sought to lead them forth to ways of purity. "Thy kingdom come!" God's children cried; and the victims of insanity saw a beam of hope through the mental darkness in which they were walking, and found themselves no longer chained and scourged like criminals, but gently led and kindly treated. "Thy kingdom come!" was the voice of millions who groaned in slavery, and of millions more who remembered their brethren in bonds as bound with them; and one by one the fetters have snapped asunder — the strong shackles of the Roman law, the wounding cords of feudal villenage, the degrading toils of British slavery, the prescriptive manacles of Russian serfdom — until even in our own land, and in our own day, "our eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord," as He comes proclaiming liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof. "Thy kingdom come!" the children of the light were pleading; and the hierarchies that sought to confine the thought of men were baffled and paralyzed, and the Bible was unchained, and the ways that lead to the mercy-seat were opened to the feet of all penitent believers. Thus it is by these mighty changes which have liberated and elevated and enlightened the children of God that God's kingdom has been coming through all the ages, with increasing glory and enlarging power.
(Washington Gladden, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.