Continuing my series on the Lord’s Prayer and how it functions as both a mission statement and community formating guide for the churchh. We now direct our attention to further exposition of the prayer itself – this post in particular deals with Matthew 6:10-11.
Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be Done,
On Earth As It Is In Heaven
There is much to be said about the Kingdom of God and the meaning behind it, too much to explained in a single blog post, but what must be said is that the Kingdom of God can only be brought about by God and is already being made present now on earth through the work of Jesus.
Jesus uttering the works Your kingdom come, your will be done, is where Jesus gets ???very political, as Hauerwas says. Matthews version of the prayer lays within the Sermon on the Mount, which is where as Wright says, Jesus ???offers a set of specific kingdom-agendas. Thus the context of Matthews version within these kingdom-agendas is significant because:
A) It points us to an eschatological hope for what God is to do.
B) There is the realization of what the church must do now.
C) It acts as community commitment to the Kingdom-Agendas found within the broader context of which this prayer is delivered (the Sermon).
D) These words parallel the words Christ prayed in the Garden on the night he was betrayed.
Jesus showed us what it looks like to place Gods will before our own, to participate in bringing in the kingdom is to die to our own rights. Hauerwas says, the Ending of all truly Christian prayer is the same that Jesus prayed in Gethsemane: Not my will but yours be done.???
In this verse of the prayer we are reminded that our citizenship is first to the kingdom of God, not to the negligence of earthly kingdoms but in order to witness to them as we participate with God in bringing God’s Kingdom and its values to our local neighborhoods, towns, and countries. This verse is intricately tied up in God’s concern for the redemption of our societies.
Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
This is my favorite part of the prayer because it shows Gods concern with our earthly existence; it is rooted in the fact that God did provide daily bread for the children of Israel while they wandered in the dessert (Exodus 16:1-36). God is not only concerned with our spiritual well-being, he is deeply concerned for our physical, emotional and mental well-being also.
We pray for daily bread by taking to God those trifles that make up the bulk of our days. Are we unable to find a babysitter for the children while we are at work? Well, then, we pray for daily babysitters. Do we need a little space to think things out? Then we pray for daily solitude and rest.???
And Hauerwas adds that a better translation of daily??? bread would be closer to sufficient??? or enough.??? He says, to pray for more would tempt us to try to live as if we were other than those who live only by the will and working of a gracious God.??? This part of the prayer urges us to live simply, within our means for the sake of others.
When we pray for God to give to us the things we need, we must consider that what we purchase and consume often times takes away or depletes basic resources others need. As a people who prayer constantly give us enough bread??? we realize that we must also participate in the answer to this prayer, we must be a giving people. If we ignore this part of the prayer we will become like the ungrateful servant in Matthew 18:24-35. The servant expected the king to grant him freedom from his debt; though once he was free he was not willing to offer the same mercy to one of his fellow servants.
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4 responses to “Matthew 6:10-11 The Kingdom of God and Prayer for Bread”
Good hearing from you over on my site, Wess! I fixed those links, but still having issues with the link for Part IV. Anyway, I like your site! Some good thought provoking stuff. I found it through Ryan Bolger’s site, which a fellow Fuller alum told me about.
Markus I too am glad you stopped by, sorry for the weird linkage problem I think I have them all working on my site. I hope you stop by again.
This line of this prayer has struck me as particularly radical. When people who do not have enough to eat pray this — they ask for more. When those who have more than enough pray this — they ask that what they have be taken away. Same words — different context=different prayer.
David, thank you for your comment – I too think this part of the prayer is absolutely radical and also relieving. God really does care about the seemingly lesser important things in life than “converting souls.”