HOW DOES THE KINGDOM OF GOD COME? The Kingdom of God comes through the prayers of the saints who love His Kingdom…and seek first His Kingdom…and ask Him to bring His will to pass on earth – like it is done in Heaven.
We often struggle with doubts about the worthwhile-ness of our praying. Is our praying real? Is there anything really going on between God and Heaven and our praying? Does our praying really make a difference here in our real world? How can I really be sure that God is even aware that we are praying – much less that He receives our prayers and will respond to our praying?
All of these questions – and others – haunt and plague our minds with doubts when we pray. And, they discourage us from praying.
That, however, is not only our Adversary’s false narrative that he maliciously whispers into our minds, but it is also deadly. Satan wants nothing more than to discourage us from praying.
“Ceasing to pray, we cease to fight / prayer makes the Christian’s armor bright / and Satan trembles when he sees / the weakest saint upon his knees!” – William Cowper
But, our praying does matter. Not only does our praying matter, but our praying moves Heaven and earth and the events that happen here. As the psalmist David said in Psalm 18.9: “He bowed the heavens also, and came down with darkness under His feet…” and further proceeds to detail the differences God made in the circumstances around the psalmist in response to his calling upon the LORD in his distress. You really need to read the entire Psalm 18 to get the impact of his experiences.
One of the first prayers our Lord taught us to pray together is ‘The Model Prayer’ in Matthew 6.9-10: “In this manner, therefore, pray: ‘Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.’”
So, what is Jesus teaching us to pray for? “Your Kingdom come.”
What is God’s Kingdom? “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” When we pray for God’s Kingdom to come, we are asking Him to do here on the earth – in our lives and around us here in our world – what He wants done. And, of course, He will! Psalm 115.3: But our God is in Heaven; He does whatever He pleases.”
And, how is He going to do that? He will make His Kingdom come – and He will do what He wills and pleases on earth like He does in Heaven – in response to His people’s prayers for Him to do so.
When Jesus Christ gave John the visions of the Revelation, one of the over-arching and sweeping purposes of those visions is to give John and us a panoramic prospective unfolding of the historical events that would transpire upon the earth during this present age – leading up, of course, to the very end of times when our Lord returns.
But, what is the catalyst for these events? It is the prayers of God’s saints! When Christ takes the seven-sealed scrolled from the Father’s hand and begins to break the seals and bring to pass here upon the earth the historical events that are contained in the seals, He does so in response to the prayers of the saints! Read it!
Revelation 5.6-10: And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
7 And He went and took the scroll from the right hand of Him who was seated on the throne.
8 And when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the scroll and to open its seals, for You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
And, this is not the only time the prayers of the saints are presented as being the catalysts for God’s interventions in the affairs of men upon the earth. Again, when the seventh seal is broken and enacted upon the earth, the seven trumpets are given to the angels to sound. And, what else happens in Heaven to prompt the sounding of the seven trumpets? Why, the prayers of the saints are offered to God for His response! So, the trumpet judgments are God’s responses to the prayers of His people for His Kingdom to come – for His will to be done on earth as it is done in Heaven! Read it again!
Revelation 8.1-6: When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
3 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, 4 and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.
5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
6 Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.
So, all you saints of the Lamb who struggle with obsessions about your own weakness and impotence to bring in the Kingdom of God – and all you struggling churches who long to be transformational and agents of Kingdom-change and make a difference in the world for the Glory of Jesus Christ – it is not by your might nor by your power, but “by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts!” So, keep on calling on God!
Your prayers are reaching the LORD of hosts! He is moving Heaven and earth in response to our asking Him to do so! And, He will continue doing so! He is enjoying the pleasing fragrance of our prayers right now…as we pray – and He will keep them before Him for future responses! Look for them to happen!