Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10
When British drama Line of Duty concluded, record numbers watched to see how its fight against organized crime would end. But many viewers were left disappointed when the finale implied that evil would ultimately win. “I wanted the bad guys brought to justice,” one fan said. “We needed that moral ending.”
Sociologist Peter Berger once noted that we hunger for hope and justice—hope that evil will one day be overcome and that those who caused it will be made to face their crimes. A world where the bad guys win goes against how we know the world should work. Without probably realizing it, those disappointed fans were expressing humanity’s deep longing for the world to be made right again.
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is realistic about evil. It exists not only between us, requiring forgiveness (Matthew 6:12), but on a grand scale, requiring deliverance (v. 13). This realism, however, is matched with hope. There’s a place where evil doesn’t exist—heaven—and that heavenly kingdom is coming to earth (v. 10). One day God’s justice will be complete, His “moral ending” will come, and evil will be banished for good (Revelation 21:4).
So when the real-life bad guys win and disappointment sets in, let’s remember this: until God’s will is done “on earth as it is in heaven,” there is always hope—because the story isn’t over.
Why do you think we hunger for hope and justice? How can praying the Lord’s Prayer help you face evil and disappointment?
Heavenly Father, may Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!
For further study, read Living Justly, Loving Mercy.
In Matthew’s gospel, the Lord’s Prayer is a key part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Jesus’ teaching on prayer particularly challenged the religiosity of the day because He indicted both the hypocritical religious leaders who used their worship of God as a means of drawing attention to themselves (6:5) and the pagans who used their prayers as a means of binding their gods with “babbling” incantations or heaped up words (v. 7).
Jesus offered instead an alternative that’s both intimate and submissive. The Lord’s Prayer is a quiet and private conversation between the one praying and God Himself. It doesn’t seek to toss a bridle around the Creator of the universe but positions the one praying in trusting submission to the compassionate Father. Prayer in Jesus’ teaching is an expression of trust, devoid of pride and pretense.