Monday of Lent 2
And [Jesus] said to them, “When you pray say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.’” — Luke 11:2
When we pray we follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ; when we pray the Lord’s Prayer we pray the very words that He has given us to pray. Included in those words is the petition
“Thy kingdom come.” That is what Jesus prayed even as He Himself brought that very reign of God through His life, death, and resurrection. Now the Church continues to pray that God would guard that kingdom against those who would stand against it, namely the devil, the world, and even our own sinful nature.
Their goal is the same, that is, they do not want God’s kingdom to come; they do not want the Gospel to spread or godly living to advance. They also do not want you to believe the Gospel or lead a godly life. They would rather that despair and ungodly living would prosper. Even now we see it in the world and in our own lives. It appears that the devil’s kingdom flourishes while the Church suffers turmoil and defeat both inside and out.
Still the Church prays, “Thy kingdom come.” And it is not a shot in the dark or a vain appeal. It is the voice of faith, trusting in the promises God has given to us concerning His kingdom. Though hell itself rages against God’s kingdom, it shall not prevail against it. The Lord preserves His Church from one age to the next. Likewise, He gives to you, as He has promised, His Holy Spirit, the forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting.
Heavenly Father, since you have given us your kingdom through your Son, we pray that you would guard your kingdom against all the assaults of the devil, the world, and our own sinful nature. Preserve your Church O Lord, and grant to us your Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Gospel, that all the more we may trust in your goodness, depend on your grace, and live lives pleasing to you, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.