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August 10, 2020 12:01 am
When we pray "Your kingdom come," are we actually helping to usher in the kingdom of God? Today, R.C. Sproul explains why this petition is part of the Lord's Prayer and how it guides us to pray with the right priorities.
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Lord's prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray by kingdom come, the son actually help usher in the kingdom. Stay with us Renewing Your Mind is next Lloyd William Webb and I'm glad you enjoyed this as we begin a new week of programs that were pleased to feature Dr. RC's full series on the Lord's prayer. Stay with us to the end today as I'll let you know how you can obtain a copy of a special bundled resource, right elbow was doing RC as he explains what Jesus meant by thy kingdom come. Recently I was in the hotel room with my wife and she had the TV on and I said what are you watching honey, and she was in rapt attention to the pageantry that was being displayed on the television screen and it involved the annual opening of Parliament in London by the Queen captured my attention. I started to watch this two in the TV cameras focused on the Queen and Prince Philip leaving Buckingham palace and they were headed toward the parliament building in a beautifully ornate coach drawn by magnificent horses.
They had all of the pageantry of England. The greatness of the realm they had the Beefeater's in full the core and they had the liveried butlers that were attending royalty in all of the pomp and pageantry that surrounded this event was fascinating. They followed the carriage all the way down the streets and the police. The bobbies had traffic cleared and the path was made ready for the appearance of the Queen and then the camera shot comes inside the chambers of Parliament and there are the lords all dressed up with formal garbage and wearing these old-fashioned white wigs that they do and I sat there and I look at this and at that here we are at the end of the 20th century in a modern, sophisticated society and their these guys dressed up in costumes that look like something out of the Middle Ages and going through all of this ritual that seems so passé so outdated and so foreign to the environment in which we live. I thought, what is it about human nature that likes to create ceremony that likes to use all kinds of aesthetic devices to draw attention to the importance of certain events, we do it here for marriages and for other special occasions that what is it the pre-occupies my wife with the ongoing saga of British royalty with the latest episode in the latest chapter between Charles and what's her name Diane and all these other princes and princesses that go on. Why is it that the fairytales that we read our children abound with stories of monarchs King, princes, princesses, and so were in the nation that has rejected monarchy, one of my favorite illustrations of this occurred when my friend John guest who was in a noted evangelist first came to America from England back in the late 60s and he arrived on the shore's of Philadelphia and I lived in Philadelphia at the time and met John I week that he was in America and he told me of his virgin exposure to American culture that the first couple of days that he was in Philadelphia somebody escorted him around the city and took him to Independence Hall and showed him the liberty bell and told him all the stories of the American Revolution, and so on to introduce him to the history of this new world, that he was embracing as his own.
John said he was enjoying all of this until they went to Germantown just outside of Philadelphia and visited what was an old antique store that specialized in the memorabilia of Americana that sort of thing and they came into this shop and they had placards and signs dated back to the 18th century, dating to the revolutionary. That displayed some of the battle cries and slogans of that era, such as no taxation without representation. Don't tread on me, and so on. But he looked at me and he said the one lacquered that drew his attention was one that announced with great big bold letters we serve no sovereign here and sunset. It stopped me in my tracks, so not looked at that because I had come across the ocean. I had left my native land.
In response to a call of vocation to be a minister of the gospel to proclaim the kingdom of God and he said suddenly I was filled with fear and consternation. He said I thought how can I possibly preach to people about the kingdom of God when they have built into their culture.
This profound aversion to sovereignty. We serve no sovereign here we may enjoy the trappings of royalty. There may be a certain nostalgia in our culture where we long in some hidden way for the restoration of monarchy. We even try to impose a kind of royalty on our leaders. We remember the days of JFK that were called Camelot we call Elvis Pressley, the King we speak of jazz musicians as the count or is the Duke we we still try to bring back the titles of royalty because we recognize that in this freedom that we enjoy in this populist type of culture, something missing. Perhaps what is missing is that which we need most desperately an awakening to authentic sovereignty. Well, if we look back to the Lord's prayer and we see the priorities of prayer that are given to the church by Jesus.
We remember that the first petition that he gave to the church was the petition that we should pray hallowed be thy name, that we should regard your name, oh God is holy and in doing that. That places us in a posture of veneration and not only of veneration but it moves us to a position of obeisance. We are to Neil we are to bow before the one who is altogether holy.
We are to stand before the holy one as a faithful vassal as the subject kneels before their king, and so there is a point of continuity here in these petitions Jesus is first of all, hallowed be your name and then the very next petition is what thy kingdom come, he moves immediately from a petition about the veneration of the name of God to the manifestation of the kingdom of God, thy kingdom come. Before I expound that a little bit more deeply.
Let me just point out a small detail here in these petitions, hallowed be is a word that recurs guy named thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Then the next petition. The fourth petition is give us this day our daily bread so long way into this model prayer before any attention or concern is given to us. The focal point of attention at the beginning of these petitions. Again, the priorities of the prayer of Jesus points to the exultation and concern for God hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done because that's where the priorities are in the realm where sovereignty exists, it is not the will of the people that is ultimate. It is not the will of the individual that is ultimate in a monarchy. It is the will of the sovereign that is most important. It is the will of the king because the king's very word is law in a monarch and so Jesus fixes our gaze not on ourselves in the initial phases of prayer, but on God, not said many times when people come to me and asked me the question know what are the rules for prayer. How should we approach God in prayer. What's the right way to pray less of the really only two rules that you have to keep in mind when you're in prayer two things that should drive and govern and control your prayer life to matters of memory. Two things that you have to remember to things that should be in the front of your mind all the time you are conversing with the Almighty.
The two most important things that you need to remember when you're praying to God are first of all to whom you are speaking and who is doing the speaking that is to say the first thing you are to remember and keep foremost in your mind when you're in prayer is who it is your talk because nothing will condition your prayer life more deeply than that, that you remember who your dressing talking to God and second of all you have to remember who you are, you're not God.
This is not a conversation between peers. This is not a fireside chat among equals. This is the creature speaking to his sovereign creator. One of the most frequently asked questions than the theology of prayer is this prayer change things and we know that it does.
The New Testament makes it clear that prayer changes all kinds of things will explore that more deeply later, but the next question that comes is this prayer change God's mind civil way. Let's go back to our two rules member who is member who you are to remember who God is, remember who you are then asked the question does your prayer change God's mind.
What would induce God to change his mind fees determined are planning to do something.
He has a will that he is about to execute.
All of a sudden, he changes his mind what would induce them to change might well perhaps new information, new knowledge that he lacked before you and your brilliance communicated this data for his consideration or does not. The Bible say that when we come to our king in prayer that he knows what we need before we ask it another way that the psalmist tells us that this sovereign God with whom we are conversing knows what were going to say before the words or even formed on her lips and that he knows those words altogether.
So if remember were talking to one who is omniscient. He doesn't learn anything new is going to change his mind. It's not because he's going to get new information for me. Whilst we change Irma we change our minds. I hope when we realize that what we plan to do in the first place was a bad plan.
We made a mistake and we got better counsel from somebody and that so RC you shouldn't do that because if you do a B is going to follow what is going to mess everything up. And so we go to God with the guy we know that you've planned to do such and such, but even in your omniscience. Perhaps you've made a mistake here and what you're planning to do is not good because you may know everything but your will, may be wicked and let me reprove you and rebuke you and counsel you to do the rights and is how absurd.
Let me say this, no prayer of any human being ever uttered in history ever change the mind of God. A bit because his mind is never need to be changed that when I say that the people of the directed horror this one of the much we pray. What good is prayer. If we can change God's mind. Why should we even be engaged in this exercise is an exercise in futility as a what I sent to Monica this prayer change things you better change things changes all kinds of things. But the most important thing the changes is us because the deeper we are engaged in this communion with God. And the more we become aware of the one to whom we are speaking that knowledge of God redound this back to us and reflects all the more brilliantly who we are and our need to change in conformity to him. Prayer changes us. God gave prayer to the church, not for God's. The sovereign has condescended to give us an audience he's invited us into the heavenly palace. He has lifted the scepter and told us to enter we have access to his very throne. But when we go there we don't walk in there like Babe Ruth did when he met the king of England before Babe Ruth went to England for the first time he had an audience with the King. King George, I get an before he was to meet with the king. The king's counselors and the assistance and so on carefully brief.
Babe Ruth on all of the propriety that was necessary to maintain proper protocol explained how many can win in the end I'll before the king and address them. Was your Majesty and all that sort of thing.
And so what does Babe Ruth do in typical American fashion. He walks right in the room or the king is anyone except us is high.
King see that's America. That's the way we are will sometimes I think that's how we feel when we come into the presence of God. Hey, I got I we only talk that way with God, with the kind of familiarity that breeds contempt and reveals contempt when we forget who he is and we forget who we are and we forget that we are in the presence of the king, not just a but the king. The king of kings, the Lord of lords, the one who is absolutely sovereign. Now there's any motif that ties together the Old Testament and the New Testament is the theme the central thing of the kingdom of God. The beginning of our Lord's earthly ministry was heralded by John the Baptist to announce to Israel there need to repent. Why, he said repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. The first message that is recorded from the lips of Jesus is the same announcement repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. Jesus parables have a common theme. Almost all of the parables are designed to reveal something about what the kingdom of God. Jesus would say the kingdom of God is like under this the kingdom of God is like unto that and when his disciples gather around him and say to him, Lord, teach us how to pray so that when you pray, you prayed that the kingdom come. You pray that the kingdom comes on earth as it already is in heaven because in heaven there is no rebellion. There is no Magna Carta.
There is no Declaration of Independence, but willingly and joyfully the entire host of heaven.
All of the angels of heaven and the archangels of heaven and all of the spirits of just men made perfect, you are now residing in heaven joyfully and willingly file before their king and submit to his sovereignty. That's the way it is in heaven. That's not the way it is on earth. Jesus said you come and you regard him as holy and the next thing you do is you regard in measure king because the kingdom of God is not going to come in any territory where the king himself is not on and that's exactly why we must be kingdom focus when we come before our heavenly Father in prayer. His concerns must be first and foremost our focus is on the Lord's prayer this week here on Renewing Your Mind and the stay with us because RC will have a final thought force in just a moment. There are 10 messages in RC series on the Lord's prayer and were offering a digital download of the complete series when you contact us today with a donation of any amount. RC also wrote a companion book titled the prayer of the Lord and that will be happy to send you this paperback volume as well. Much like the teaching series. Each chapter focuses on a single line from the Lord's prayer, pointing us to God's holiness and our need to rely upon so-called request.
Both of these resources at 800-435-4343. You can also give your gift and make your request online and Renewing Your Mind.org the Lord's prayer brings us comfort as we look at each phrase, no matter how crazy the world becomes around us we can humbly submit ourselves to God's daily care. We also learn about how to treat others when we been locked. This is a timely study for every believer to again call us to request this bundled resource. The downloaded teaching series, along with Dr. Sproles book on the Lord's prayer our number again is 800-435-4343 enter web address is Renewing Your Mind.org and as always, we thank you for your financial gift before we go today. Here's RC with a final thought force. How do you feel about royalty the black lace laughed at frequently when he advocates the restoration of monarchy constitutional monarchy as the preferred form of government that makes laughed out of town. It's unthinkable in American culture history is replete with the record of King who been corrupt, who have been tyrants and we think that the only cure for that kind of tyranny is the tyranny of the majority where there is no honor, and there is no duty and nothing is sacred and no one is soft but that's not the way it is in the realm of God, your God does not rule by referendum, as is been often said the 10 Commandments are not 10 suggestions that can be modified or amended by popular vote, God reigns over his creation with sovereignty and the question we have to face is does he reign over us with sovereignty. A great question to consider as we close out our program today. We hope you'll join us. Tomorrow's RC continues his series on the Lord's prayer our focus will be on God's will done on earth as it is in heaven that's Tuesday here on Renewing Your Mind