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…
— The mere mention of a kingdom suggests the idea of power and glory.
1. The kingdom of God, although not a temporal one, is a real one.
2. The kingdom for whose advancement we so often pray is a peaceable kingdom, and one which is constituted in the very person of the King Himself.
3. The kingdom of our blessed Lord, for whose prosperity we are permitted to pray and labour and endure, admits of unlimited extension throughout the world.
4. We should offer this petition for ourselves, that the Spirit of God may so rule in our hearts that every thought and desire may be subdued to the obedience of Christ. It is heart work, much more than head work, which is to make us fit for this kingdom. Religion is an inward principle, calling for personal self-denial and effort; and as vegetation is more advanced by the gentle dews and showers than by violent torrents of rain, so is it with the growth of grace in the soul.
5. When we offer the petition, "Thy kingdom come," we not only pray for ourselves, but also for those who enjoy fewer religious privileges than we do. The philanthropist is not satisfied to enjoy his abundance, nor the patriot his liberty, alone. The true Christian, like his Divine Master, would have all to be saved, and he feels pity for those who know not the way of life. Zeal for the honour of God, and for the advancement of His kingdom, may be exercised without the slightest infringement on the rules of Christian charity. One of our American bishops, on entering a beautiful church in Spain, was accosted by a Romish priest, who inquired if he was a Catholic. "Yes," was the prompt reply, "Catholic, but not Roman." The good priest grasped his hand and said, "It is sad that those who love Jesus should differ. We will tell it to Him, and, some day, His prayer will be answered, and we shall all be one." As the two parted for ever this side the grave, the Spanish priest said, with evident sincerity and emotion, "Pray for me!" Whenever such a spirit shall prevail among the disciples of Christ, the dawn of the millennium will be close at hand. The acting upon St. 's famous rule will be helping the good cause: "In things essential, unity; in things questionable, liberty; in all things, charity."
(J. N. Norton, 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.