TODAY’S READING: Luke 11
Your Kingdom come. There is no kingdom without a resident King. Jesus asks us to pray that He will return to reign. Only then will the Father’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, when King Jesus comes in power and glory. Prayers of persistence (Luke 11:8) are linked to this model prayer: We should ever be praying for the physical return of King Jesus to this earth. How many wars will it take to convince us? How many cycles of spiritual decline will it take to show that the only blessed hope is when the King returns? How many liberal hopes will have to be dashed before we realize that no lasting good can endure until the King establishes His eternal reign?
It is this context (praying that King will come back) that we are told to seek and knock (v. 9). Unabated we are to pester heaven with growing fervor as the day approaches for the return of the King. It is this context in which we ask for the Holy Spirit (v. 13). Why do we ask for the Holy Spirit? Because when the Holy Spirit is given, we will receive power to be His witnesses in all the earth (Acts 1:8). Why should we be His witnesses in all the earth? So that the King will come (Matt. 24:14). Thus, prayer is not really about us and our needs, bodies, jobs, families, or our wounds; prayer is essentially about the King coming back and the gospel being preached to all nations. The reception of the Spirit is not really about power for me to overcome as an individual in my little sphere; the Spirit is about Jesus overcoming all the enemy’s forces that actively resist His mission to return in power and glory.
Because we are so small and focused on ourselves, we naturally interpret anything that happens to us as being about us. Jesus debunked this when He cast out the mute demon (vv. 14–36). The mute man spoke and naturally we think the purpose of this demonstration of power centered on the individual. It didn’t. Jesus explained, “If I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (v. 20). He pointed out that His act to this individual had Kingdom, global purposes. It’s an arrow in the war for authority over all the earth and all peoples. It’s an arrow in the war that will culminate only when the King comes back in power. It’s an arrow in the war to gather representatives of all peoples to the King, for in the larger context this personal intervention is all about gathering (v. 23).
For Jesus, there is no enduring kingdom without the literally present King. He knows we are in the midst of battle, and some ground taken will be lost again (vv. 24–26). He knows that the blessed are those that obey the King and work towards His will of every nation represented in the Kingdom (v. 28). He knows that hungry ears want signs and He calls our attention back to Yemen and Syria (v. 31) as if to say the only sign is the shocker of the King dying for all nations and then re-shocking all satanic powers by rising from the dead. Jesus reminds us that if our eye is singly, missionary focused on His coming kingdom then our whole body will be full of light (v. 34). For this we must pray.