Your kingdom come

Indeed, what are we praying for when we pronounce these absolutely unique words, “Thy kingdom come”? Above all, of course, we pray that this encounter may take place now, here, and today, in the present circumstances, that in my mundane and difficult life I could hear the words, “the kingdom is near you,” and that my life would be filled with the power and light of the kingdom, with the power and light of faith, love, and hope. Furthermore, we desire that the whole world, which so evidently lies in evil and longing, in fear and in striving, would see and receive this light, which entered the world some two thousand years ago, when at the outskirts of the Roman empire was heard that lonely, yet still sounding voice: “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mt. 3:2). We pray also that God would help us to not betray this kingdom, not to constantly fall away from it, not to sink into the engulfing darkness, and that finally, this kingdom of God would come in power, as Christ says.

–Alexander Schmemann, Our Father

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Bringing things to Jesus’ attention

N.T. Wright reminds us of one of the crucial things about prayer worth remembering. Speaking of Philip and Andrew’s reaction to the large crowd before them that needed to be fed (Jn. 5:1-15), he writes in John for Everyone:

Philip doesn’t know what to do. Andrew doesn’t either, but he brings the boy and his bread and fish to Jesus’ attention. The point is obvious, but we perhaps need to be reminded of it: so often we ourselves have no idea what to do, but the starting-point is always to bring what is there to the attention of Jesus. You can never tell what he’s going to do with it—though part of Christian faith is the expectation that he will do something we hadn’t thought of, something new and creative.

The Lord Jesus doesn’t need us to bring things to his attention for him to notice them. But we need to, to recognize that what seems to us an impossible situation is something that he can solve in ways we’d never expected.

Published in: on February 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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