Saying the Lord’s Prayer once again
Beginning my devotions for this third week of Advent, I read once again the Lord’s Prayer. Growing up in a Christian home I cannot began to count how many times I have heard this prayer, how many times I have recited it.
But today I wondered how much I really understood that part of the prayer where Jesus said
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
So many times I must confess I have prayed this with anticipation of that day when Jesus would return to earth and set up His kingdom. What a glorious day when God wipes the tears from our eyes, when sin and temptation no longer are a problem, when there is truly peace on earth.
According to the dictionary anticipation means a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen in the near future. Often I think that is how I – and perhaps others – have viewed this part of the prayer. Sometime – hopefully in the near future – Jesus will return and set up his kingdom. To have God’s will done on earth as it is in heaven is a future event – something Jesus will do – while I sit and wait with excitement.
But today as I reflect on these words, I realize once again that Jesus was not calling us to anticipate this future event. I believe it was calling us to make that true today – right now.
Not anticipation, but ACTIVE anticipation!
To truly pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, I am asking God to manifest his kingdom in me today. I am called to be an active participant in the answer to this prayer. I am not to sit idly by waiting for someday. I am called to make myself available to God’s Spirit and to allow God’s will to be manifest in me (obvious, clear, plain, noticeable).
While I wait with great anticipation for the return of Jesus Christ and the fulfillment of all the wonderful promises of the complete defeat of evil, I must wait with active anticipation recognizing it is my responsibility to see that God’s will is done today in my own life. It is my honor to surrender to God’s Spirit now and be a witness to what God’s will on earth really is all about.