“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.” Matthew’s gospel recognizes that the world is the scene of contending forces that hold people captive. People do not live in neutral space. The powers of evil are manifest in diseases of mind and body, the falsehoods that people claim are true, and the sins that destroy individuals and communities. To pray that God’s kingdom will come is to ask that God’s power to create will prevail over forces that destroy, and that his power to redeem will bring release from bondage.

God’s kingdom comes through his Messiah, who was enthroned through crucifixion, revealing a kingdom characterized by sacrifice and resurrection. In heaven, God’s will is unopposed, for there sin and death have no place. As long as sin and death are active, people are moved to pray that God’s life-giving purposes may be carried out on earth as they are in heaven.