The word “kingdom” comes from the Greek word basileia, which literally means “rule” or “reign.” We can therefore understand that the Kingdom of God as the rule and reign of God within the hearts and lives of his people (Luke 17:20-21). Dallas Willard describes the Kingdom of God as the range or extent of which the will of God is done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Used 118 times in the New Testament, the Kingdom of God was the central focus of Jesus’ teaching ministry.
What are some helpful observations about prayer concerning the will of God as it relates to our lives in his Kingdom? The will of God is done without exception in heaven. That should be pretty evident! According to Romans 12:2, the will of God is “good, acceptable, and perfect.” The will of God involves submitting my will to God and prioritizing his will above my own (Matthew 26:36-46) and is primarily discerned through Scripture and prayer (Acts 10:34- 36; 44-48). The will of God is confirmed through the community of faith (Acts 15:1-21) and is applied through obedience (Acts 15:22-30). Ultimately, the goal of knowing and doing God’s will is to advance his Kingdom (Acts 15:31- 35).
So how do we pray for the Kingdom of God to come on Earth as it is in Heaven? We pray for the rule of God to be complete in our own lives and to be aligned with the plan and purposes of God, as opposed to asking God to approve our own plans and purposes. We pray for his rule and reign to be enacted anywhere it does not exist, and seek to cooperate with that work. Finally, we pray for his second advent.
This phrase has been called “the master prayer of the Christian.” Its located in the heart of the prayer, and serves as the hinge upon which God’s agenda and our agenda swings.