Catechism lesson 43: The coming kingdom (LD 48)

An important thing to pray for is that God will bring his kingdom—now already, in our lives, and completely in the future when Jesus returns.

LD 48 q&a 123.

What is the second petition?

“Your kingdom come.”

That is: So rule us by your Word and Spirit
that more and more we submit to you.

Preserve and increase your church.

Destroy the works of the devil,
every power that raises itself against you,
and every conspiracy against your holy Word.

Do all this
until the fullness of your kingdom comes,
wherein you shall be all in all.

Just like the first petition, this second petition focuses on God’s glory, presence, and mission in the world. “May your kingdom come,” or: “Your kingdom must come.” By teaching us to pray this, Jesus teaches us that God’s kingdom is an important priority.

The catechism’s answer has four paragraphs. Each of them explains an aspect of God’s coming kingdom.

(1) The kingdom takes shape in our lives. As we learn from God’s Word how to live, and the Holy Spirit makes that teaching bear fruit in our lives, God’s kingdom becomes visible in us. A Christian should think of himself as a citizen of God’s kingdom and behave like it. This does not come naturally to us– it is therefore important to pray for it!

(2) The kingdom is found in the church. The church is the body of all believers, who start living the kingdom life more and more. The church is the community where the Holy Spirit is visibly at work. When we pray for the coming of the kingdom, we ask that the church may grow in faith, holiness, and size.

(3) The kingdom is found in the defeat of evil. Until Jesus returns, there is a battle going on between good and evil, between our Lord and Satan. While Jesus has won the victory, the fight is not completely done. And so we pray: Lord, continue to cut down the evil powers that are still in this world, put an end to the attacks of the devil.

(4) The kingdom will be completed soon. We especially look forward when God’s kingdom is completely visible, when all people will recognize it and obey the Lord Jesus. Then we will be able to fully enjoy everything that the Lord has prepared for us, his people.

Praying for the coming kingdom is therefore praying that God will complete his plan and all that belongs to it.

Homework

All: Memorize q&a 123.

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