At Work & Theology 101

Why Does It Matter If We Pray "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done"?

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The kingdom of God comes when the way God designed things to be, happens.

– Reverend Bill Haley

For a number of years I have been involved in a non-profit called the Fellows Initiative. This group helps churches start Fellows Programs.

These Fellows Programs are nine to ten month spiritual and vocational leadership programs for college graduates. They prepare these young men and women to live a seamless life of faith and have a thoughtful impact in the world.

By participating in these programs, fellows discern how their story fits into God’s story.

Graduates are able to start their post-college years with a strong foundation for a cohesive life of faith, weaving together their career, their personal life and their place in God’s plan.

They begin answering some of life’s most important questions: How do you think “Christianly” about work, culture, friendships and experiences?

Many people have said to us, “We wish we had gone through a program such as this.” One of the reasons IFWE produces this blog is to help the rest of us think about these important issues.

The Fellows Initiative recently released a new promotional video highlighting the benefits of these programs.

In the video, Bill Haley, an associate rector at The Falls Church Anglican, makes a very profound statement:

The kingdom of God comes when the way God designed things to be, happens.

We often pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” But what does that really mean?

In a recent interview, author Michael Wittmer suggests:

Christians should consciously consider how they might bring the rule of Christ into the various spheres of their lives, and thereby begin to fulfill the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Our homes should be havens of refuge, our friendships should be lubricated with grace, and all of our tasks should be done for the glory of Christ (Colossians 3:17, 23).

Kevin DeYoung writes that when Jesus returns and consummates the kingdom,

…there will be no more lawlessness, no more rebellion, no more brokenness, no more injustice, and no more unrighteousness. The way God wants things to be will be the way things are (Revelation 11:15).

But between now and then as we pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven,” we are asking God to use us to demonstrate the power of his kingdom in the present, and point to the way things will be in the future.

As those who are already members of his kingdom and have submitted to the lordship of Christ, we need to ask whether or not we faithful subjects.

Are we using all the work to which we have been called to glorify God and give others a glimpse of the kingdom? Are we doing acts of justice and mercy in ways that bring glory to God and not to ourselves? (Micah 6:8)

On one hand, we realistically see the world and the human condition as they really are, fallen and in need of grace.

Yet on the other hand, we work with the great hope that our efforts do make a difference based upon the knowledge that our Lord will come back to set all things right. For where God’s kingdom advances, God’s people serve as “salt and light” in the world around them.

As we pray in the way our Lord instructed, we must also live and work in the way he instructed based on his design and desire for his creation.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

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