Why Pray, “Let Your Kingdom Come”?
“The kingdom of God is not coming with striking observableness, neither will people be saying, ‘See here!’ or, ‘There!’ For, look! the kingdom of God is in your midst.”—Luke 17:20, 21.
1, 2. In line with reliable news sources, why may our times be described as fearsome?
DO WE need God’s kingdom? Most certainly we do! For we humans today are passing through the most critical period in all history. These are fearsome times! Underlining this, the Manchester Guardian Weekly of June 7, 1981, had this to say: “London, Paris, Bonn, Rome, and Brussels could all be totally destroyed by the SS-20 missiles which the Soviet Union has deployed since the beginning of this month. . . . Each missile carries three warheads of 150 kilotons, so that the total firepower against each city would be 30 times greater than that loosed on Hiroshima. Having fired five of its SS-20s the Soviet Union would still have 210 left for other targets, without calling in aid its bomber force, its submarine fleet, or the 1,400 inter-continental missiles, each bearing many megatons which are kept in reserve for more important occasions.”
2 Time magazine of October 26, 1981, in its cover story “Arming the World,” described the situation as “out of control and no limits in sight.” It spoke of the “alarming and accelerating commonplace: for large and small nations alike, weapon sales have become the chief tools of diplomacy . . . ‘major strands in the warp and woof of world politics.’”
3 Truly, “just as the days of Noah were,” the earth has become “filled with violence” and with a tremendous potential for even greater violence on a catastrophic scale. (Genesis 6:11, 13; Matthew 24:37) There is no wonder that Jesus, when he prophesied of “these things that are destined to occur” at the world’s end, spoke of “anguish of nations, not knowing the way out . . . , while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth.”—Luke 21:25, 26, 36.
4. Why should our attitude be one of optimism?
4 However, can we expect that the loving Creator of our beautiful earth will permit violent, trigger-happy men or nations to bring his handiwork to utter ruin? Can we imagine that Jehovah God will allow those of mankind who have ‘beaten swords into plowshares’ and who worship him “with spirit and truth” to be annihilated by his enemies? (Isaiah 2:2-4; John 4:24) Never! And that is why Jesus adds to his description of present-day events these words: “As these things start to occur, raise yourselves erect and lift your heads up, because your deliverance is getting near.” (Luke 21:28) Jesus tells us to take a positive, optimistic attitude toward the various conditions that surround us at this “conclusion of the system of things.”—Matthew 24:3-8, 33.
5. What kind of world must we live in, and yet of what mind should we be?
5 In many parts of the world it is no longer safe to walk down the street. The divorce rate soars, families are breaking up, and drug addiction and illicit sex have grown to epidemic proportions. This is the world in which Jehovah’s worshipers must live. But though we are in the world, we do not need to be engulfed by the world. For we can be of the same mind as Jesus, who declared: “In the world you are having tribulation, but take courage! I have conquered the world.”—John 16:33.
6. (a) In ‘conquering the world,’ what fine example did Jesus set? (b) Why did Jesus teach us to pray, “Let your kingdom come”?
6 Why was Jesus able to ‘conquer the world’? It was because of his firm faith in God’s promised kingdom. He knew that Jehovah would bring in the Kingdom in His own due time and way. Jesus deeply treasured his own assignment as King-designate. In order to attain to the Kingdom, he gave up everything that he might have had as a perfect man on earth. He wants us also to enjoy Kingdom blessings. It is for this reason that Jesus taught his disciples to pray: “Let your kingdom come.” (Matthew 6:10) Over the centuries, literally hundreds of millions of mankind have repeated that prayer. But how few have understood what the Kingdom really means!
The Kingdom—A Reality
7. (a) What comparison helps us to appreciate that God’s kingdom is real? (b) How are the Kingdom’s rulers elected, and why can we be sure that they will truly care for mankind’s interests?
7 God’s kingdom is a very real kingdom. Just as today we still have human kingdoms, such as the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Nepal, the Kingdom of Denmark, and many others, so God’s kingdom is an actual governmental arrangement. Like kingdoms on earth that have their parliaments, senates and elected representatives, so the kingdom of heaven has Jesus as God’s appointed King, together with associate elected rulers. But in this case, they are elected by God himself from among trustworthy humans. They are “God’s chosen ones [“the elect of God,” Authorized Version], holy and loved.” (Colossians 3:12) God himself knows best of all what qualities are desirable in righteous rulers, so that these may truly take care of mankind’s interests. After their resurrection into the heavenly kingdom, these 144,001 heavenly rulers will be in a strategic position for administering the affairs of the realm of the Kingdom on earth.—Revelation 14:1.
8, 9. (a) Why does Christendom fail to teach that the Kingdom has subjects? (b) Yet who are those subjects, and over what Bible promises may they rejoice? (c) Who alone today are making known the “good news,” and what joy may be yours today?
8 Who, then, will be the subjects of the Kingdom? If you were to go to Christendom’s religions for the answer, they would tell you that there will be no such subjects. They follow the Grecian philosophy that all souls are immortal, and that they go to “heaven” or “hell.” They do not believe the marvelous Bible promise of an earthly resurrection, and that God will “reside” with mankind and “wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.” (John 5:28, 29; Revelation 21:3, 4) Yes, the subjects of the Kingdom will be the billions of mankind who will live forever in a global paradise right here on this earth. And of all religions on earth, Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only ones today that are telling the people of earth this “good news.”—Psalm 37:9, 29.
9 If you have already accepted the “good news,” are you not glad that someone shared this hope with you? Are you not overjoyed to know what God’s kingdom will do for mankind? Are you not happy that, in anticipation of all that the Kingdom will accomplish, you may have a part in sanctifying the illustrious name of the Provider of that kingdom, our God, Jehovah? No greater privilege could there be today than to proclaim “this good news of the kingdom” to others of needy mankind!—Matthew 24:14; Psalm 145:10, 11.
Our Fervent Prayer
10. With regard to the Kingdom, why should we make fervent prayer, and with what confidence?
10 How fervent we should be, then, in praying for God’s name to be sanctified through the coming of his kingdom! How confident we should be that the Kingdom will “come” soon, to carry out God’s will toward our earth! Having become God’s dedicated, baptized servants, we can be confident, too, that Jehovah will answer our prayers for daily sustenance, for forgiveness of our sins, and for protection against the wiles of that old “serpent,” the Devil. Those are the things for which Jesus taught us to pray.—Matthew 6:9-13; Revelation 12:9.
11. In view of world problems, what admonition of Paul is timely, and why?
11 It is indeed a cruel, harsh world, in which family heads find it ever more difficult to cope with spiraling inflation and other economic problems. And we need always to keep on guard, so that we do not fail spiritually or morally under the enemy’s attacks. In line with the apostle Paul’s admonition at Ephesians 6:11-18, let us “with every form of prayer and supplication . . . carry on prayer on every occasion in spirit.” For God will assuredly answer the prayers of his devoted ones—prayers that are in harmony with his will.—Psalm 65:2, 4, 5.
12. Why should the Kingdom be prominent in our prayers?
12 Wholeheartedly, may we pray, “Let your kingdom come.” And why should the Kingdom be so prominent in our prayers? Because it is God’s means, his instrument, for ridding the universe of his archenemy and all who submit their lives to Satan’s rulership. The Messianic kingdom is His arrangement that will clear his marvelous name of all the reproach that has been heaped upon it down through 60 centuries of time. The kingdom by God’s Son, Jesus Christ, will administer to mankind the ransoming power of Jesus’ sacrifice, even to raising to life the billions who now sleep in gravedom. (1 Timothy 2:3-6; Revelation 20:12) Do you grieve the loss of some loved one? Are you saddened by the worsening world conditions? Then are you not happy that you may be part of the only people on earth whose hope is in Jehovah and his glorious Kingdom promises? (Psalm 144:15; 146:5) You should be! And confidently you should be praying, “Let your kingdom come.”
WHAT THE KINGDOM’S ‘COMING’ WILL ACCOMPLISH
□ Remove badness, war, oppression
□ Deliver all who worship God “with spirit and truth”
□ Provide a real government with administrators elected by God
□ Raise the dead, unite all races as earthly subjects of the Kingdom
□ Replace poverty and corruption with prosperity, justice for all
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As human governments are real, so is the heavenly Kingdom government