Why Pray for God’s Kingdom?
“OUR FATHER in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.”—Matthew 6:9, 10.
For almost 2,000 years, faithful Christians have used these words as a model for their own prayers to God. First spoken by Jesus Christ, it is known as the Lord’s Prayer, or the Our Father.
Today, however, many no longer pray the Lord’s Prayer. Rather than looking to God’s Kingdom, they look to human governments, economic systems, scientific methods, or the United Nations to provide hope for the future. Do you do that? If so, are you being realistic?
Some people regard today’s civilization as the most prosperous in history. But it is in a precarious situation. Many forces threaten the future of civilization, even the future of life itself on earth. Consider just some of these threatening forces.
The total strength of such weapons currently existing is equivalent to more than three tons of TNT for every man, woman, and child on earth. In an article entitled “The Bomb—Beyond Control?” Canadian journalist David Lancashire noted that “with the growing sophistication of the weapons has come an increasing chance of accidental war by computer error.” And he quoted a United Nations study as follows: “History indicates that once a particular type of weapon has been developed past the testing stage, it will generally be used. This has not been true of nuclear weapons, with two exceptions [at Hiroshima and Nagasaki], but there can be no assurance that it will remain so.”
While some nations today have an extremely high standard of living, others are very, very poor. A writer in the magazine New Scientist felt that if the present inequalities continue, they will “inevitably lead to some sort of conflict.” But even if they do not lead to conflict, these inequalities might bring disaster. How?
The poorer countries have huge debts. In 1981 correspondent John Madeley explained: “This has put the world banking and financial system nearer to the edge of a precipice than the banking world has previously wanted to admit. Unless there are immediate and fundamental reforms in the world economic system to give developing countries the chance to earn more, [there could be] even more defaults and reschedulings, setting off a chain reaction to collapse.” (World Press Review) In various lands, the financial system remains in a precarious state.
For a long time, mankind has been heedlessly pumping pollutants into the atmosphere. Now, according to the Chicago Tribune, “a growing number of scientists fear that, like a balloon stretched to the bursting point, the Earth’s envelope of air has been pushed to the point where catastrophic changes may be in store. . . . Some of the disasters are already upon us and others are coming sooner than expected.”
Mankind has polluted the earth’s water in various places. For instance, in the United States it is reported: “In Biscayne Bay, fish are turning into diseased monsters. In New Orleans, where 112 different chemicals have been found in the drinking water, the rate of cancer mortality is soaring. From coast to coast, people and animals alike are paying a fearful price for the continuing contamination of our fresh water, our sea water, and our tap water.”—New Times.
These are just a few of the problems imperiling our future. Others include the depletion of energy sources, the population explosion, the destruction of forests, the spread of deserts, and the growing shortage of fresh water. It may be that some of the threats have been exaggerated. But do you honestly believe that all are exaggerations? And when considering all the problems, do you think that man has any chance of solving them? Yet if they are not solved, what future is there for the human race? And why are we plagued with so many seemingly insoluble problems?
Why the Problems?
Well, these problems demonstrate a basic truth: Man really cannot govern himself successfully. No human ruler has ever had the wisdom, the altruism, or the power to govern for the greatest good of everyone. The Bible tells us: “To earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23) Man was not made to rule himself.
There is also another factor, one that many find it difficult to accept in this materialistic age. Rulership of mankind does not involve only humans. When Jesus was on earth, a superhuman creature, Satan, offered him rulership of all the kingdoms of the world. And later Jesus’ follower Paul called Satan “the god of this system of things.” (2 Corinthians 4:4; Matthew 4:8, 9) How can Satan be the ruler of this world, when so many no longer believe in him? Because most people—even if unknowingly—do not accept God’s rulership and hence are furthering Satan’s designs.—Matthew 12:30.
Satan’s situation has worsened since Jesus’ day. The Bible reveals that today Satan has “great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.” (Revelation 12:12) Like Hitler at the end of the last world war, Satan is now desperate in his resolve to “rule or ruin.” Since his long rule has been so unsuccessful, Satan the Devil is now clearly bent on ruining the human race. Is it not sobering to know that such a malevolent, powerful force exists? Especially is that so when we remember that all those stockpiled nuclear weapons seem to be “beyond [human] control”! But what does all of this have to do with God’s Kingdom?
We Need the Kingdom
Since our problems are caused by man’s inability to rule himself, and also by the baleful influence of a superhuman power, their solution clearly lies outside the human race. This is why we desperately need God’s Kingdom. This Kingdom is a real government. But it is superhuman, heavenly, and has the power to overcome Satan. Being God’s Kingdom, it also has the wisdom, altruism, and authority to make right decisions and rule successfully.
Hence, we can be happy that the Bible tells us: “In the days of those kings [modern-day rulers] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.” (Daniel 2:44) The King of that Kingdom is Jesus Christ, of whom it was said prophetically: “In his days the righteous one will sprout, and the abundance of peace until the moon is no more. And he will have subjects from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.”—Psalm 72:7, 8.
Yes, God’s Kingdom will solve mankind’s problems. So why not search the Bible to find out what this Kingdom is and how you can even now be a subject of it. You, and all others of mankind, truly need this Kingdom. Jehovah’s Witnesses stand ready to help you to learn about it.
[Picture Credit Line on page 4]
U.S. National Archives
[Picture Credit Line on page 4]