On earth as it is in heaven… a prayer for global missions
In His first recorded sermon, Jesus unpacked the following fundamental truths about the Kingdom of God:
–The character traits of the King’s subjects who submit themselves to Him and His rule and reign in their lives
–How these citizens of His Kingdom interact with every person they come in contact with (including relatives, friends, enemies, and even themselves)
–How they interact with every thing that is part of the sphere of their day to day lives (God’s law, their religious traditions, possessions, money, etc.)
JESUS TELLS US WHAT AND HOW TO PRAY
As He concluded the section of the sermon on how the citizens of the Kingdom pray, He told His listeners to begin their prayer by addressing God as “Our Father in heaven….” and then taught them the key issues they should lift up to Him. (Matt 6:9-13)
Many months later, the Gospel of Luke records that one of His disciples, after observing Jesus in prayer, asked the Lord to teach them how to pray, like John the Baptist had taught his disciples. (Luke 11:1-4)
Jesus did what the disciple asked, speaking to him and the other disciples that were there, telling them to pray with the same content as He taught in His first sermon, but in a slightly different order.
MOST OF US KNOW THIS PRAYER BY HEART
This twice recorded prayer is so well known and so often repeated that when you read the first four words of it in that sentence above, you probably could have completed the remainder with very little mental effort.
But whether you can accurately pray the prayer using the words recorded in the Bible, or you’re more comfortable using it as a guide for your own words, I’d like you to consider this:
If you ask your heavenly Father the different things that Jesus tells you to ask Him, one of the things you’re praying for is GLOBAL MISSIONS.
WHY HIS RESPONSE TO A PORTION OF THE PRAYER HELPS GENERATE GLOBAL MISSIONS
I say this because every time you pray this prayer and say to God, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is heaven”, you’re actually contributing to that part of the church’s activity that is commonly known as MISSIONS.
By telling His disciples to ask the Father to bring His Kingdom to the earth and have His will done here as it is in heaven, Jesus acknowledges the reality we all know by experience–there are kings and kingdoms on this planet that are opposed to God’s Kingdom and His will being done here.
In heaven, His Kingdom exists unopposed and His will is joyfully carried out by His subjects that have willfully and humbly surrendered to His rule and reign in their lives, the people that His own Son redeemed at the cost of His own life.
When His subjects here on earth ask Him to bring His Kingdom in to the realm where we live and have His will done here as it is there in heaven, He always answers, even though we may not recognize it.
You see, His answer to the prayer of His current subjects is to command some of them to go and proclaim the Gospel of His Kingdom, making disciples from among all ethnic groups wherever they live on the planet, and the rest to send and care for them–which is what most Christians refer to as GLOBAL MISSIONS.
YOU MIGHT BE PART OF HIS ANSWER TO YOUR OWN PRAYER
In a way similar to the feeding of the five thousand, when we go to the Lord and ask Him to do something that will bring Him glory and be beneficial to others in need, it’s crucial to understand that most of the time, His answer to our prayers includes our own involvement and sacrifice.
Knowing the way His will unfolds in His Kingdom, if He tells us to pray for something, it should be inconceivable for us to be apathetic about whether He’s answering our prayer or whether we should be involved in some way.