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…
Reverence recognizes the majesty of God; loyalty His authority. We might revere a foreign king; we are loyal only to our own. Many are able to feel the former sentiment who are apparently uninfluenced by this. They go in crowds to worship, confessing that it is good and seemly to do so, but never think of leaving their homes for the sake of obeying a Divine precept in doing an act of justice or charity in God's name. Lord -Bacon was a very reverential man, but not loyal, for he was an unrighteous man. Robert Burns must have had some hallowing sense of Divine things to have written the "Cotter's Saturday Night"; but he was not an honest subject of God, for he did not keep the seventh commandment. "The kingdom" is that condition in which God's laws are perfectly kept, and His promises fulfilled. The kingdom of God, with its hallowing influences, presses against our generation, and against every man in it, as really as the upper ether presses against the earth's atmosphere. The righteousness of the kingdom presses upon our consciences; our moral natures are as sensitive to it as our nerves are to the slightest motional influence. We cannot keep out the sense of justice and judgment, awakening complacency or dread, according to our lives. We are all and always conscious of spiritual realities about us and within us. When we pray, "Thy kingdom come," we ask that the same righteousness which makes heaven perfect may come to reign in all men's lives, not dimly discerned through conscience and reflected in the Bible precepts, but as it is in the character of God our King. We pray that the love which makes heaven happy may fill every human soul, not as we feel it in our kindliest charity, but as it is in God who "is love": we pray that Christ may come, in whom Divine righteousness and love were embodied, and win all hearts to His sway. And if we are honest in the prayer we open our own hearts to receive the kingdom, that upon it may be put those laws of holiness and love. The petition sincerely uttered is thus a formula of consecration. An illustration of spiritual loyalty to our King may be taken from a historical scene. When William the Conqueror assumed dominion in England, .each of his barons knelt before him bareheaded, and, placing his hands within those of his superior, swore — "Hear, my lord, I become liege-man of yours for life and limb and earthly regard, and I will keep faith and loyalty to you for life and death. God help me." Whereupon the kiss of the king invested him with his portion of the land.
(J. M. Ludlow, 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.