Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV)- In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
If you want anything from God, you will have to pray into heaven [unseen realm]. That is where it all is. If you live in the earth [the visible ream] and expect to receive from God, you will never get anything.
Last Sunday I shared on “A faith that is anchored in the unseen.” In that sermon, I mentioned: “Faith is the mirror of the heart that reflects the REALITIES OF AN UNSEEN WORLD – the actual substance of His kingdom. THROUGH THE PRAYER OF FAITH, we are able to pull the reality of His unseen world into this one.
We must pray heaven down.
This morning, I would like to share a message entitled, ‘LET THY KINGDOM COME’.
How to pull the reality of God’s unseen world into our visible [earthly] world? How to bring down the kingdom of God? How to let God’s kingdom come down to us?
The answer is PRAYER.
If you want to see “Thy Kingdom come”, we must learn to pray by faith.
The Lord’s Model Prayer provides the clearest instruction on HOW WE BRING THE REALITY OF GOD’S WORLD [UNSEEN WORLD] into this one.
Jesus’ model reveals the only TWO REAL PRIORITIES OF PRAYER. First, intimacy with God that is expressed in worship – Hallowed be Your Name. And second, to bring His Kingdom to earth, establishing His dominion over the needs of mankind – Thy Kingdom come!
Let’s examine THE LORD’S PRAYER:-
(1) “OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME”
The title “Father” is a title of HONOR and a call to RELATIONSHIP. What He did to make it possible for us to call Him “Our Father” is all one needs to see to begin to become a true worshipper.
Application: Do you have a relationship with God as your Father? Are you a child of God the Father through Jesus Christ? If not, you are still a child of Satan. If you want to pray heaven down, you must have a Father and Child relationship with God through Jesus. For those of us who are born again- how is your relationship with Your Heavenly Father? Are you in talking terms with Him? Are you in a relationship with Him? When is the last time you talk to him? The Lord’s Prayer starts off with an intimate relationship with God as our Father.
“HALLOWED” means respected or revered. This too is an expression of PRAISE.
In the book of Revelation, which is actually entitled The Revelation of Jesus Christ, it is obvious that praise and worship are the primary activities of heaven. And so it is for the believers here on earth. The more we live as citizens of heaven, the more heaven’s activities INFECT our lifestyles.
WORSHIP is our number one priority in ministry. Everything else we do is to be affected by our devotion to this call. He inhabits our praise. One translation puts it this way, “But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel” (Psalms 22:3). God responds with a LITERAL INVASION OF HEAVEN TO EARTH THROUGH THE WORSHIP OF THE BELIEVER.
E.g. A worship leader took a friend along with his guitar to the mall to worship God. They stopped after hours of singing and dancing before the Lord. An unsuspecting man walked through the same area where they had been worshipping God. He stopped, reached into his pockets, pulled out illegal drugs and dropped them onto the ground. No one said anything to him about his sin. How did it happen? Heaven touched earth, and there are no illegal drugs in heaven.
As God’s presence becomes manifest upon a worshipping people even unbelievers are brought into an encounter with God. I believe the day will come in this church when as unbelievers walk into our worship service, the demons in them will shriek and leave them while others will break out in joyful laughter as they come into the presence of God. These things shouldn’t surprise us. Look at how God responds to the praises of His people as mentioned in Isaiah 42:12-13 – Let them give glory to the LORD, and declare his praise in the coastlands. The LORD goes forth like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his fury; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes.”
How to pray down God’s kingdom? –Worship!!
God is not egotist in need of affirmation. He is not trying to help His approval rating on planet earth and therefore, commanding us to tell Him how good He is. God is quite secure in who He is. He does not look for worship. But He does look for worshippers. There is a difference.
Consider this: God is love. And love always chooses the best. He could want nothing better for us than for us to be worshippers because we always become like whatever we worship. There is nothing better that He could want for us than for us to become like Him. That is love, true love.
Genuine worship is a TRANSFORMATIONAL EXPERIENCE. This is where the follower of Jesus encounters God, the glorious One. Certainly a part of that experience is our offering of thanksgiving and praise. That becomes the prelude. It is like a practice before the real game. Offering thanksgiving and praise is a wonderful part of our call as “priests unto the Lord.” We have the distinct privilege of ministering to Him with these sacrifices. But God responds to our offering. It is good to remember that fire, the MANIFEST PRESENCE OF GOD IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, always fall on sacrifice. In Psalms 22:3, we find the idea that God inhabits our praise. The picture becomes increasing clear – AS WE MINISTER TO HIM, WE ENCOUNTER HIM. The only logical response to this encounter with the presence of God is WORSHIP.
As we encounter His glorious presence, we are changed. Changed from glory to glory. It is stated that “when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2). This statement refers to a future event. But the principle remains. SEEING HIM THROUGH WORSHIP CHANGES US. Perhaps that is what Paul was talking about when he said, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Notice he says that we are transformed into the same glorious image of God that we behold, from glory to glory. We become like the one we worship. The point is that it is the glory that transforms a life more profoundly than anything else available to us as believers. There is no greater privilege for the believer than to encounter His face through worship. This is the ultimate call. And those who behold Him, in whatever measure He allows, are given the grace increasingly to become like Him.
Jesus qualified us as priests unto God. We are welcomed into His glorious presence to minister to Him in the same way that Jesus is welcomed into His presence for we are in Christ. God has predestined us to be like Jesus and this privilege of worship is part of His plan. So we live for God to be exalted in and through our lives in all that we are and all we do.
‘Let thy kingdom’ come through worship!!!
(2) “YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.’
This is the primary focus for all prayer – if it exists in heaven, it is to be loosed on earth. It is the praying Christian who LOOSES HEAVEN’S EXPRESSION HERE.
When the believer prays according to the revealed will of God, faith is specific and focused. FAITH GRABS HOLD OF THAT REALITY. Enduring faith doesn’t let go. Such an invasion causes the circumstances here to line up with heaven. Everything that happens here is supposed to be a shadow of heaven. In turn, every revelation that God gives us of heaven is to equip us with a prayer focus.
How much heaven has God purposed to become manifest here on earth? No one knows for sure. But we do know through Church history that it is more than we have now. And we know through the Scripture that it is even more than has ever entered our minds. The Church today has been negligent in one thing – she has not prayed the power of God out of heaven.
The will of God is seen in the RULING PRESENCE OF GOD, for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor 3:17). Wherever the Spirit of the Lord is demonstrating the Lordship of Jesus, liberty is the result. Yet another way to say it is that WHEN THE KING OF KINGS MANIFESTS HIS DOMINION, THE FRUIT OF THAT DOMINION IS LIBERTY. That is realm called THE KINGDOM OF GOD. God, in response to our cries brings His world into ours.
Conversely, if it is not free to exist in heaven, it must be bound here. Again through prayer we are to exercise the authority given to us. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, shall have been loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19). Notice the phrase “shall have been.” The implication is that we can only bind or loose here what has already been bound or loosed there. Jesus Christ has bound sin, sicknesses, darkness, sorrow and loosed righteousness, healing, light and joy there. Once again heaven is our model.
Let thy kingdom come through loosing heaven’s expression here.
(3) ‘GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.’
Is anyone starving in heaven? Of course not!
This prayer is a practical application of how His dominion should be seen here on earth – abundant supply. The abuses of a few in the area of prosperity do not excuse the abandonment of the promises of God to provide abundantly for His children. It is His good pleasure to do so. Because there is complete and perfect provision in heaven, there must be the same here [ so stories about gems dropping on praying people are real; stories of money being found in the pages of the bible are real]. Heaven sets the standard for a Christian’s material world – enough to satisfy the desires born of God and enough “for every good work” (2 Cor 9:8). Our legal basis for provision comes from the heavenly model given to us in Christ Jesus. “And my God shall supply all your needs accordingly to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”(Phil 4:19). According to what? His riches? Where? In glory. Heaven’s resources are to affect us here and now.
E.g. God spoke to me not to worry about serving Him here in Evangel Tabernacle Iloilo City without the support and covering of a Singapore sending Church for He is my Jehovah Rohi, my Father Shepherd and He knows how to clothe me and feed and to provide for my needs. He even gave me a prophetic promise that this year, He will restore everything that I had lost 4 years ago in double proportion- “Instead of your shame you shall have a double portion, instead of dishonor you shall rejoice in your lot; therefore in your land you shall possess a double portion; yours shall be everlasting joy. For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants shall be known among the nations and their offspring in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed” (Isaiah 61:7-9). Last Tuesday, I taught that if we are in a tough situation, we need to develop a RESTORATION MENTALITY. We need to be encouraged that God is going to turn our situation around. I believe in my spirit that in no time, God is going to turn things around for our church – our attendance will hit above 1000 again; our church people will have good jobs and many promotion to come; our businessmen and career people will succeed in their endeavor; our ministries will flourish and impact many more to come; our honor will be restored in double fold; supernatural things will happen in this church; the presence of God will draw many to our church and they will encounter God and never be the same again; our mission ministry will be upgraded to another level. Soon, many of you will see how heaven’s resources affect us corporately and personally.
Let thy kingdom come through abundant supply of heaven’s resources.
(4) ‘AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS
Is there any unforgiveness in heaven? No!
Heaven provides the model for our relationship here on earth. “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitator of God as dear children” (Eph 4:32-5:1).
Our model here is Jesus Christ…..the One ascended to the right hand of the Father….the One whose kingdom we seek.
E.g. I was very upset and offended by a person and I wanted to dissociate from him. I was about to decide on our final dissociation with him when God used the rhema that I was reading at that moment during my devo to change my mind – If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will crush you instead (Proverbs 26:27 NLT). God told me to forgive them and to be merciful to them. That is how to pray for heaven’s effect on personal relationships – forgiveness – being merciful to one another, forgiving one another, even as God has forgiven us in Christ.
Let thy kingdom come through forgiveness.
(5) “AND DO NOT LEAD US INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE.’
There is no temptation of sin in heaven. Neither is there any presence of evil.
Keeping separate from evil is a practical evidence of our coming under our King’s rule. This prayer does not imply that God wants to tempt us. We know from James 1:13 that it is impossible for God to entice us to sin. This kind of praying is important because it requires us to face our need for GRACE. It helps us to align our heart with heaven – one of absolute dependency on God. God’s Kingdom gives us the model for the ISSUES OF THE HEART. This prayer is actually a request for God not to promote us beyond what our character can handle. Sometimes our anointing and gift are ready for increase of responsibility, but our character isn’t. When promotion comes too soon the impact of our gift brings a notoriety that becomes the catalyst of our downfall.
E.g. Many of you can attest to the freshness of anointing upon our Worship Ministry here for the last 5 months. As the Holy Spirit anoints our Worship Leaders, there is a need to expand this ministry to 7 teams and I need more worship leaders and more back-up singers for the Sunday Main service. In this expansion, I was very tempted to use the very new ones as part of the 3 Main Worshippers. But then on 13 August 2016, God admonished me through a rhema in Ecclesiastes 10:5-7 (msg)- “Here’s a piece of bad business I’ve seen on this earth, an error that can be blamed on whoever is in charge: Immaturity is given a place of prominence, while maturity is made to take a backseat. I’ve seen unproven upstarts riding in style, while experienced veterans are put out to pasture.” God warns me that though the anointing is by grace, these new ones that I was thinking of using have yet to develop their character and maturity and as such, a hasty promotion to be the main worshipper will destroy them. Even in the appointment of members to be DJCL or any top leadership position (like pastors), God instructs, “He must not be a recent convert or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.” (1 Tim 3:6).
Application: We need to pray for the issues of our heart to align with heaven’s agenda and motive so that we will not give room for the devil to destroy us. Sometimes the devil can destroy us subtly through innocent and good things like the anointing and promotion. We must pray for the searchlight of the Holy Spirit to shine in every issue of heart and depend on the grace of God to cleanse us of all evil tendencies of our hearts and motive.
The phrase “DELIVER US FROM EVIL” actually means ‘DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE.” A heart modelled after heaven has great success in spiritual warfare. That is why it says, “Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
I was praying up for this sermon on Saturday and God revealed to me a verse in Ezekiel 10:6 –The LORD said to the man in linen clothing, “Go between the cherubim and take some burning coals from between the WHEELS.”
I was very intrigued by the word “WHEELS” and I began to do a study on them. Ezekiel says that the wheels are always beside the 4 cherubs and they are sparkling Chrysolite. The dictionary defines WHEELS as “the rolling thing (KJV); Galgal [a whole wheelwork machinery with its whirlwind-like rotation that speaks of RAPID MOTION]; chariot.
Ezekiel 10:13- As for the wheels they were called in my hearing the whirling wheels.
In the hearing of the Prophet Ezekiel, a VOICE calls upon the wheels and being obedient to the call, the cherubims are lifted up and the wheels roll on.
This speaks about the RAPID MOTION God will be engaged through the Cherubims to bring judgment upon the evil and idolatrous nation of Israel. Cherubims are not only agents of God’s grace and mercy but also agents of God’s wrath and vengeance [represented by the burning coals beneath them]. By sharing this chapter about the wheels, the Holy Spirit taught me to use this example about the wheels to pray as follows: “Lord, in my hearing like Ezekiel 10:6, call in the whirling wheels and send your judgment through your angels, like a whirlwind upon the kingdom of evil. Let Thy Kingdom come like a whirling wheel [speedily] with fire upon evil and darkness.
Isaiah 17:12-14 (Amp) – The nations roar like the roaring of mighty waters but He [God] will rebuke them and they will flee far away, chased like chaff on the mountain before the wind and WHIRLING WIND before the storm. At the evening time, now look, sudden terror. Before morning the Assyrians are no more. This is the portion of those who despoil us and the lot of those who plunder us.
Our lives are always plundered and despoiled by the Assyrians who are actually the oppressors of our lives – whether literally or spiritually. Our enemies love to roar against us and come against us like a flood [mighty waters] and what are we going to do? We should learn to pray this prayer – “Let Thy Kingdom come! O Lord, rebuke my evil enemies so that they will flee far away. Let your rebuke chase them like chaff on the mountain before the wind and whirling wind before the storm.”
The “whirling wind” here in this text is the same as the rolling thing or the wheels mentioned in Ezekiel. In the context of Isaiah 17:12-14, it means the rebuke of the Lord will cause our enemies to roll away like a rolling thing to be like dust.
Let thy kingdom come through spiritual warfare prayer.
(6) ‘FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER. AMEN.”
The Kingdom of God is His possession, which is why He alone can give it to us (Luke 12:32). When we DECLARE that reality, we move into DECLARATION OF PRAISE! All through the Scriptures we hear the declaration of praise similar to this one contained in His model prayer declaring ALL GLORY AND POWER BELONG TO HIM.
Derek Prince suggested that if we only have ten minutes to pray we should spend about eight praising God. It is amazing how much we can pray for with the two minutes we have left.
Once again, this prayer has two main objectives:
(1) Minister to God out of an intimate personal relationship.
(2) Bring the reality of His rulership (the kingdom) to earth.
An outline of this Matthew 6:9-13 gives us the KINGDOM APPROACH to prayer:
1. Praise and worship
2. Praying for heaven on earth
a. Heaven’s effect on material needs
b. Heaven’s effect on personal relationship
c. Heaven’s effect on our relationship to evil
3. Praise and worship
‘LET THY KINGDOM COME’
When we pray for His kingdom to come, we are asking Him to superimpose the rules, order and benefits of His world over this one until this one looks like His.
E.g. Suppose I owned a very successful restaurant and you wanted to purchase the right to a franchise. By purchasing a franchise of my restaurant, you would be investing your money to obtain its name and all that goes with it – menus, unique design, management program and the quality of training for workers. You would be required to follow the prescribed standards established at the flagship restaurant. The color scheme would be the same, as would be the type of furnishing and menu items. The policy manual for employees and the management style would be copied from the main campus. In essence I would superimpose the main restaurant over each new location until all the locations looked alike.
God wants us to superimpose His kingdom rules, orders and benefits over this earth until this kingdom looks like the one in heaven. That’s what happens when the sick are healed or the demonized are set free. His world collides with the world of darkness, and His world always wins because the invisible kingdom of God is always more superior than the visible kingdom. Our battle is always a battle for dominion – a conflict of kingdoms.
We need to pray heaven down. Prayer is the simplest activity of the believer. Child to Father….lover to lover….conversation…sometimes spoken and sometimes not. The honor that we have in being able to pray is beyond all comprehension. We are His representation on earth – ambassadors of His world. Our cries, our prayers, all of them touch His heart.
Intimacy is the main purpose of prayer. And it is through relationship that God entrusts to us the secrets of His heart, that we might express them in prayer.
God has chosen to work through us. God has apparently given Himself a self-imposed restriction – to act in the affairs of man in response to prayer. We are His delegated authority on planet earth. And prayer is the vehicle that gives occasion for His invasion. Those who don’t pray allow darkness to continue rule.
The reason God manifests His Kingdom Presence to us is not only for us to overcome bondages and darkness in our own lives but also to let His Presence invade and collide with world of darkness around us. God wants His Kingdom Presence that we have prayed down to conquer the kingdom of darkness.
E.g. I was reading a book and I was struck by its caption which reads – IT IS ILLEGAL TO ENJOY THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD AND NOT CONQUER SOMETHING. When Isaiah was before the Lord, beholding God upon His throne, he was overwhelmed by what he saw. He beheld things that were beyond description. He then heard the Lord ask a question, “Whom shall I send?” Isaiah responded, “I’ll go, send me.” Worship is the ultimate ministry. Yet there are many who consider themselves to be great worshippers but do nothing else outside of that activity. I question the experience of anyone who says he has encountered the Lord in worship, but is not willing to serve. What authenticated Isaiah’s experience in the throne room was the quickness with which he volunteered to answer God’s search for a willing vessel. It is nearly impossible to see His heart and then turn a cold shoulder to His search for a volunteer. I believe in the beauty of worship. In fact, it is the GREAT PRIVILEGE for the believer to be invited into the throne room of God to minister unto Him. It is not to be taken lightly. But to minister to Him and not serve shows that in our worship we have not seen and encountered His heart. It is easy in a worshipping culture to lose focus and actually worship worship – that is to love the music, the atmosphere, the joy of being together as the people of God, but never actually encounter the face of God. It would be like enjoying the party of a wealthy friend. Your friends are there, there are great food, great music and a very enjoyable atmosphere in the room. You look across the room and acknowledge the host, but never go over to him, never even express your thanks for the event, his kindness, and who he is in your life. It is easy to enjoy the benefits of our Friend, but seldom actually encounter Him. All who consider themselves abandoned worshippers of God must ask themselves this question: Is my passion for His presence MEASURABLE OUTSIDE OF THE EXPRESSION OF WORSHIP? If not, changes must be made. Jesus did not do all He did so we would do nothing. Our love for God is measured by our love for people. The unseen realities in our lives (our love for God) must be measurable in the seen (our love for people). Our lives have the hope of eternal impact. Great love for God looks for ways to display His love by opposing or hating the things He hates, namely those things that seek to kill, steal and destroy people’s lives. This is the honored assignment given to Jesus by the Father and passed on to us in the Great Commission. One of Jesus’ final statements of commission was given in John 20:21: “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” Lovers of God have the privilege of enforcing the kingdom victory won at the cross against all the enemies of humanity. This is, in fact, a part of our worship expression. The Spirit of God who comes upon us in a unique way during worship longs to be seen through us outside of our work, devotion or worship expression. Worship truly comes full circle when we embrace His heart for people and work to see His name exalted through the victories afforded to us by the redemptive work of Jesus.
THY KINGDOM HAS COME THROUGH JESUS
Matthew 12:28- But if is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
We all know that Jesus drove out the demons and healed many sick during his time. Jesus is the KINGDOM OF GOD coming upon us. Throughout his earthly life, his life was guided by the very Lord’s Prayer that he taught us.
• He had a very intimate and loving relationship with God the Father. On many occasions, we read about the Father affirming in audible voice that Jesus is His beloved son.
• He worshipped and prayed to the Father always – in good times and even bad times [like the cross] • He prayed down the heaven’s [supernatural] effect on material needs, as is seen in the case of him multiplying the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes to feed the hungry 5000 multitudes.
• He prayed down the heaven’s [supernatural] effect on personal relationships when he prayed at the cross to His Father to forgive those who had crucified Him on the cross.
• He prayed down the heaven’s [supernatural] effect on his relationship to evil by casting legions from a demon possessed man and healing many who sick and oppressed.
• He glorified God always.
As you connect yourself to Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, the same kingdom relationship and the same kingdom rulership that is His, is ours to share, claim and activate on this earth for ourselves and for those around us. Jesus is that kingdom come and right now, he wants that kingdom to come in you and upon you. Pray like Him. Use his proven prayer model. It works 2000 years ago and it still works today.
“Let thy kingdom come!” Pray Heaven down! Pray the unseen realm down. Let thy kingdom come through our worship! Then pray for heaven’s effect on our earthly material needs; on our earthly personal relationships and on our earthly relationship to evil. Lastly DECLARE His praises! All power and glory belong to Him!
When God’s kingdom come- reach out to the people in the kingdom of darkness and let this kingdom of God invade their lives bringing liberty to their lives. Be the ambassador of this unseen kingdom king to the fallen visible world around us. Let God’s kingdom come to superimpose the rules, orders, and benefits of His world over this one until this one looks like His. Let His kingdom collide with the kingdom of darkness so that we can see the sick healed the demonized and the oppressed set free. When God’s kingdom collides with the kingdom of the visible and the kingdom of darkness, the kingdom of God (the unseen realm) wins because it is a more superior kingdom. Let Thy kingdom come.
Preached at etab 1st eng service on 6 nov 2016