The murmur of praying voices coming from the various corners of the room brought a warm sense of peace to my spirit. This was one of the few times in the week that seemed safe, when I could relax my guard and relish the fellowship of other Christians, a rarity in the corner of Asia in which I found myself for the summer.
I focused on the prayers of the middle-aged man beside me—asking for our protection, asking for provision. His words stopped suddenly, and I opened my eyes to look at his face. It was twisted, lips pursed, jaw tight, brow furrowed, trying to regain control over the powerful emotions that brought moisture to the corners of his eyes. I did not remember anything in his requests that would evoke such emotion.
After a few seconds of silence, his composure regained, he continued. Father, let your kingdom come in this place.
I must admit, I was a bit taken aback. This was the request that had gripped his heart. This was the thought that had brought this strong man to tears. Never before had I heard or seen someone pray so passionately for the Father to bring his kingdom to earth, “as it is in heaven.” Never before had I thought about the power of that request.
What if His kingdom did come here? What if we were seeking, truly seeking, for it to come? What floodgates of heaven would swing open if we prayed this prayer with such passion, desperation, eagerness? What work would it begin to do in us, as we developed eyes to look for His kingdom arriving and present in our midst?
Let your kingdom come. Groups of women make their circuit through the strip clubs of the North Shore, laden with gift baskets and care packages for the girls working. Love - the kingdom is here. After years of prayers and tears, a young woman bravely walks into the doors of a rehab facility. Freedom - the kingdom is here. Church doors are flung open to receive the homeless, providing shelter, serving a feast and friendship. Generosity - the kingdom is here. Rival gang members come together peacefully to work under the banner of the local church. Reconciliation - the kingdom is here. We stand on tip-toe, straining to catch glimpses of its coming, at-the-ready to point: "Here it is! The Kingdom is here.”
So we say, yes, Lord, let your kingdom come in this place—your kingdom of light and love, of truth and justice, of joy and peace, of freedom and wholeness, of restoration and reconciliation, of the healing of souls and bodies—let your kingdom come.