I can imagine being right there next to Him. Hearing His words, and feeling His presence. Listening as He spoke to His Father in ways that I did not or could not understand. I can imagine the looks on the faces of my friends, as we experienced together the kind of prayers that would lead us to ask the question too.
‘Lord, teach us to pray?’
Was it a question, or more of a statement? A demand in the gentlest most humble kind of way. Or perhaps it was a mixture of the two. An inquiry as to whether or not something we wanted so desperately, something we knew we needed but weren’t sure we could ever have. A recognition of the other-worldly power on display in our midst. A moment we wanted to re-live over and over again.
‘Lord teach us to pray.’
His words ring with power, and also demonstrate humility. They call for help from something and someone bigger and better, but speak of its role in the world in which we all live. He is talking about a place we have never been, and of it’s coming to the place we call home.
‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth, as it is in Heaven’
These are the things that Jesus asks of His Heavenly Father. When given the opportunity to ask Him for anything for anyone, He asks that God’s personal presence would inhabit the earth. That the place He is now, would become a little more like the place He has come from, and where He will someday return. He believes that the world would be better off, if we could find it in ourselves to follow God’s will, instead of our own. Oh what we could learn from just these few simple words.
Over the course of His life, Jesus spoke often and with confidence about the Kingdom of Heaven. He compared it to families, weddings, dinner parties, enemies and friendships. He said it was happening now, and yet that there was more to be discovered. He spoke about kings and widows, orphans and siblings, feasts and famine. It was like He knew what He was talking about, but He also knew that no words would be quite enough to explain it.
One thing was obvious though. The Kingdom of Heaven was and is about the people. Those who are in it, and those who are on their way. It revolves around who we are, and how we live, what we do when we respond to the things that this world and its kingdoms throw our way. The Kingdom of Heaven is living and breathing, it is moving and active, and that is because it is happening through us.
You and I are the plan for bringing Heaven to earth. God’s idea is to use us to demonstrate and show others what an eternity with Him will look like. To entice them into dedicating and devoting their lives to following Him, and using them to do the same. At first glance it might seem like an odd or poor choice, after all we, like everyone else, are just flawed flesh and bone. But after further review, that is what makes the plan so incredible. Who better to show and tell the world about who God is and what He can do for them, than those who He has already shown and done it for? Our firsthand account of God’s goodness and grace, makes it the unbelievable that much more believable. It makes what seems impossible, possible. What seems unrealistic, real.
I can imagine being right there next to Him. Hearing His words. Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, come to earth, praying that His Father in Heaven would hear Him and through Him, start the process of bringing His presence, His power, His peace, His Spirit and His sovereignty, to a place in desperate need of it all. I can still hear Him praying it today.
Would our prayer, echo His.
‘Our Father, who art in Heaven, holy is your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done – on Earth as it is in Heaven.’
May it be done in us and through us we pray.