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Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil; For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

2nd Petition

“Thy kingdom come”

In the Lord’s Prayer we pray: “Thy kingdom come.” We are praying that the kingdom of God will come to us, that God will rule in our hearts, and also that His kingdom rule will be expanded everywhere. It is the Christian’s confidence that one day he will be translated from this earth to the kingdom of heaven. The Christian is confident because the Lord Himself gives promise that all in whose heart He now rules will be with Him in heaven.

To ‘hold an office’ does not mean to sit in a room behind a desk. To ‘hold an office’ implies activity! Similarly, in the second petition when we speak of the kingdom of God, we are speaking first of all of the activity of the King. What is the King’s activity? He rules. Where does He rule? In that He is Creator and Lord, He rules over all things in heaven and on earth. The earth is His footstool. But most specifically, He rules on this earth in a special way in the heart of each believer in Christ. With what does He rule? He rules with His Word. For what purpose does He rule? He rules to save.

So the Kingdom of God is “God’s gracious rule to save.”

The kingdom of God comes without our asking, but we pray that it may come to us. Martin Luther summed it up very succinctly: “The Kingdom of God comes to us when our Heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit so that by His grace we believe His holy Word . . . .”

The King does not set up His throne in one’s heart by threat or by intimidation. He does not use force of arms to bring us into His kingdom. He does not use political pressure and deceit as some do in our political society. He establishes His rule through the preaching of the gospel.

The gospel is the message of salvation. It creates faith. Of those who were not subjects of the King, it makes subjects. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for all those who believe.

Furthermore we are told: “Ye are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (1 Pet. 1:5). The royal rule of Christ within the heart of His children is preserved by the same means through which it was established! They who have been brought into the kingdom of God pray that they might be preserved unto salvation and, as well, that through His holy Word they may “lead a godly life, here in time and hereafter in eternity.”

We also speak of the second petition as the “mission petition,” because it is our prayer that the gracious rule of the Lord to save will also be extended to others. We pray that the Spirit will, through the gospel, bring others to the knowledge of and confidence in God’s salvation.

We who pray this petition also are called to speak the Word of God. The Lord has commissioned those in whose heart He rules to share the blessed word of salvation. He has told them to go into the world and preach the gospel. So when we pray “Thy kingdom come,” we are praying that it might prevail in and among us to whom it has come, and that it will come to others.

To remain in this kingdom is the first priority of those who are under His rule. Lest we forget, we are reminded: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mt. 6).

“Lord, let Thy kingdom come, and preserve us under its rule until the day of Thy heavenly kingdom!”


    Thy kingdom come.

    What does this mean? The kingdom of God comes indeed without our 
        prayer, of itself; but we pray in this petition that it may 
        come unto us also.

    How is this done? When our heavenly Father gives us His Holy 
        Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and 
        lead a godly life, here in time and hereafter in eternity.

                    --DR. MARTIN LUTHER'S Small Catechism
                             Concordia Publishing House, 1943

    The Second Petition

    "Thy kingdom come."

    What does this mean?

    God's kingdom certainly comes all by itself, even without our 
        prayer, but we pray in this petition that it also come to us.

    How does the kingdom of God come?

    God's kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy 
        Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and 
        live a godly life here in time and hereafter in eternity.

                             by Pastor Mike Sydow, 1988

A comparison of two currently used versions


–Pastor Daniel Fleischer