Bible Society of South Africa

God’s kingdom is established – 5 September 2022

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

9This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven:

May your holy name be honoured;

10may your Kingdom come;

may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:9-10GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Lord’s Prayer that Jesus held up as a perfect example of a prayer, has all the ingredients that a prayer could ever wish to have. It starts by extolling the greatness of God. Then, it moves to his fatherhood and, hence, his fatherly love for us. It helps us to understand our dependence on God for our daily upkeep. Our relationship with other people is addressed next and it gives us room for confession of our sins, and acceptance of God’s forgiveness.

For our meditation about the kingdom of God, all of these are very important. Although the whole prayer should be seen as a unit, the first three prayers are closely related and form a sub-unit. The hallowing of God’s name and the prayer that his will be done, both have a specific connection with the prayer for the coming of his kingdom. With the coming of the kingdom, God’s sovereignty over the whole world will be confirmed, it will create room for the hallowing of his name and it will mean that his will can be done on earth as is in heaven.

The other parts, however, also have a direct bearing on the kingdom of God. The provision for our material needs (our daily bread) is taken care of within the loving space of God’s kingdom. We are being cared for like princes and princesses. This is not only true of material needs. Our spiritual needs, like forgiveness of our sins and deliverance from the evil one, takes place within the parameters of the kingdom. Within this loving environment, we are also able to forgive those who trespass against us.

The best ancient manuscripts of the Bible that we have do not contain the last laudation or the last reference to the kingdom. The Afrikaans 2020 translation mentions, in a footnote, that these words became so much a part of this prayer, that I think we could use them to close our meditation for today. This is from the King James Version: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.”

Prayer: Our Father which art in heaven …

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