Written more aptly than I can, here is a reflection from Ian Adams, Church Mission Society Mission Spirituality Adviser & tutor at Ridley Hall, Cambridge written for ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. This was a period of prayer led by Archbishop Justin Welby to join people and churches together to pray between Pentecost and Ascension Day.
Taken from: www.thykingdomcome
What happens when we pray ‘Thy Kingdom Come’?
To pray Thy Kingdom Come is to pray for a shift in the world around us.
It is to yearn for things to be different.
To imagine transparency in a culture of fake news.
To find compassion in a society that resorts so readily to shame and blame.
To long for grace, mercy and peace in an anxious and fearful world (2 John 1:3)
But to pray Thy Kingdom Come is first to pray for a shift within ourselves.
For this is where the change we seek must begin.
To pray this prayer is to yearn to live increasingly in the light of the Christ.
It is to commit ourselves again each day to taking the path that is love for God, love for neighbour, and love for the earth and her creatures.
It is to assent to the life of God within us.
Such a shift will be demanding.
Our priorities will need to be examined and re-calibrated.
In so many ways we can find ourselves compromised.
As much part of the problem as part of the solution, accepting of the ways things are, lacking the imagination or the courage to live in the way of Jesus.
To pray Thy Kingdom Come is a costly thing.
But this shift will also be freeing.
To pray Thy Kingdom Come is to step into the freedom to follow God’s call into life and mission in the way of Jesus.
There’s nothing quite like being who you are called to be, and doing what you are called to do.
The monk Thomas Merton wrote memorably of this discovery in his own life:
‘I belonged to God, not to myself; and to belong to him is to be free.’
As this sense of freedom deepens we may find ourselves yearning for the same freedom for those around us.
To pray Thy Kingdom Come now becomes an invitation to others to share the path that we ourselves are taking each day.
It is to pray that those with whom we live and work may also be open to encounter with the stranger coming near to them on the road (Luke 24:13-25).
It is to long that they too may find their hearts burning within them, and that in time with open eyes they may recognise the risen Christ with them and within them.
When we pray Thy Kingdom Come we are not alone.
We pray with countless others praying this prayer around the world and through time.
To pray Thy Kingdom Come is also, vitally, to pray with the one who gave us the longer prayer from which the line comes (Matthew 6:5-15).
It is part of a personal prayer, formed in the life of Jesus.
In praying this prayer we pray with him – and he prays in us.
And so we may pray with confidence, and with love…
Thy Kingdom Come.
‘The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.’ Psalm 103: 19
Father God, I yearn for things to be different in the world I live in – for more good news than bad news, and for hope to be displayed and made known, rather than despair reported. Lord, hear my cries and that of people all over the world for your grace, mercy and peace to reign. May this be the case not only in this nation but all nations around the world. Each one needs your healing grace, mercy and love in one way or another.
Thy kingdom come to this nation…
Lord, as prayer starts with me, I pray that you would move my heart to align it with what you want. Since your heart is for people to know you as their Heavenly Father, help me to be a light that shines your love, mercy and grace to those around me. I want to be the person you want me to be, to love as you love, even when it’s costly and hurts.
Thy kingdom come…
‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.’ Matthew 13:44
Whilst on earth, Jesus, talked about God’s kingdom many times, describing it in different ways for his listeners. I pray that the Royal family would search for the kingdom of heaven like a treasure more valuable than they have ever seen or known. Make their joy indescribable as they find it and study the treasure of finding You, heavenly Father.
Thy kingdom come…
As you have led me to pray for the Royal Family, I pray that Your Kingdom would come to the people and places that they meet. As Her Majesty leads the Royal Family, I pray that she would know your hand upon her leadership in a mighty way. Give her Your Godly counsel as she reads your word and prays the Lord’s Prayer.
Thy kingdom come…
Father God, raise many people in the nation to pray for their monarchy – the position, the people and its place in society. As generations change, and kings and queens come and go, You Oh God never change. So I pray that you would lead each generation to pray for the Royal Family, leading them by your Holy Spirit to know what to pray for.
Thy kingdom come to the British Royal Family this day Oh Lord,