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…
1. The first motive, to which I request your attention, is the Divine command. We ought to pray for the advancement of this kingdom, because God, our rightful Sovereign, requires it of us.
2. A second motive, which should induce us to pray for the coming of God's kingdom is, that by this desirable event the Divine glory will be greatly promoted.
3. The benefits which will result to mankind from the coming of God's kingdom, furnish another powerful motive to induce us to pray for its advancement. The number and value of these benefits, as they respect the present life, may in some measure be inferred from a consideration of the nature and tendency of Christ's kingdom. It essentially consists, as has already been observed, in righteousness, peace, and holy joy.
4. We may therefore add, as another motive which should induce us to pray for the universal spread of Christ's kingdom, that He has promised, and even sworn by Himself, that this event shall infallibly take place.
5. As a farther inducement to do this, permit me to remind you that the time allotted for their fulfilment is rapidly advancing, and that the present appearance of the world and the dispensations of Providence plainly indicate that God is about to finish His work and out it short in righteousness, and that the latter day of Christ's kingdom is beginning to dawn.
6. As a farther motive to induce you to this, consider the happy effects which it will have upon yourselves. Nothing can more directly or more powerfully tend to destroy every baleful, malignant passion in your breasts, or promote in them the growth of Divine benevolence, than frequently praying for the advancement of Christ's kingdom. That our prayers for this event may be acceptable to God, two things are indispensably necessary.
(1) The first is, that they be accompanied by corresponding exertions.
(2) The second thing necessary to render our prayers for the advancement of Christ's kingdom sincere and acceptable is, that we become willing subjects of His kingdom ourselves.
(E. Payson, 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.