As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are commanded to pray that His kingdom will come and that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matth.6:10). The Lord also commands us to first seek His kingdom and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33). In other words, we are to pray for the kingdom to come in its fullness and we are to do our best, through His grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, to implement it in our areas of responsibility and influence.
"Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you" (Matt. 6:33).
One of the greatest, if not the greatest, priorities of our prayer life is to pray for the kingdom of God on earth. Specifically, we want His authority, dominion, power, love and purposes to manifest throughout the earth. We pray for His physical return to rule over the earth, and for His eternal kingdom with the new heaven and earth. We pray that the gospel of the kingdom will reach all people and that the power of the Holy Spirit will have free reign on the earth.
Compared to other responsibilities, the Lord told us that we should first (Greek: protos also can be interpreted as foremost, before or first of all) seek His kingdom and His righteousness. The Lord established this as our top priority. "Seek" is the Greek word zeteo and means to continually seek or search after something. We should not be passive. The Lord considers this to be important.
We seek His kingdom by wanting and striving for His will, authority, power and purposes to manifest in our lives, our churches and throughout the world. We seek His power and authority to demonstrate His kingdom and His purposes in all of our areas of responsibility and influence. We follow His standards by following the principles of the Bible and ask for grace to be even more obedient. Since H is our King, we do not condone the injection of personal opinion or society's norms to compromise the word of God.
We seek His righteousness by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and with the power of the Holy Spirit, obeying His commands. We love Him for what He did for us. We obey Him because we love Him. We continually strive to be conformed to His image. Through repentance, prayer, obedience, mediating on His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit we seek to reach higher levels of obedience. Within our areas of influence, we seek to implement His purposes and righteousness.
"If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).
The kingdom of God is power, righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The gospel of the Kingdom was and is Christ's message. He came to earth to restore the kingdom and preach its good news. He paid for our sins, sent the Holy Spirit, gave us His Word and allows us to use the name that is above all names. We have freely received. We should freely give.
"For the kingdom of God does not consist in word, but in power" (1 Cor. 4:20).
"For the kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17).
Jesus illustrated the value of the kingdom by comparing it to a pearl of great value and a hidden treasure. He illustrated kingdom growth with parables of leaven and a mustard seed. But it illustrated kingdom selectively with parables of tares and a dragnet. We have been given much. We have a heavy responsibility.
Let us honor our King by walking in love, obeying His commandments and confirming the truthfulness of His Word with the power of the Holy Spirit. According to His Word, which does not return void, He will do what we ask.
"Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes in Me will do the works that I do also. And he will do greater works than these, because I am going to My Father. I will do whatever you ask in My name, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (John 14:12-14).
Dr. James Russell is a professor of economics at Oral Roberts University.
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