To pray “Your kingdom come” is to express our longing for God’s perfect rule on earth. It is to bow before King Jesus and forsake our personal kingdoms. It is to acknowledge the transience of earthly kingdoms and their true place in history (see Ps. 2; Dan. 2). It is to ask for God to bring salvation to the lost and judgment to His enemies. With these words, we pray that He will cripple the domain of darkness and speed ahead the advance of the kingdom of light.
Several years ago, while on a trip in order to train pastors in Latin America, I sat in a pastor’s office in one of Ecuador’s largest cities while preparing my heart to preach in thirty minutes’ time. Pastor Jaime offered me coffee and started sharing the history of his church’s building. I was a little confused at first (I don’t normally enjoy hearing anecdotes of foreign real-estate transactions before I preach), but soon Jaime’s story gripped me.
Jaime and his wife Lirio had been grieving the destructive impact that a local nightclub was making on their community: local youth were being led astray, households were being destroyed, and crime rates were increasing. So Jaime and Lirio began to pray for the nightclub to close. They continued to pray for about five years—until one day, by God’s grace, it closed. The building where it had been sat empty for two years.
Meanwhile, God was reaching people through the church that Jaime was pastoring, so the church sent Jaime and his family to plant a new branch of the congregation. But where would it meet? Jaime and his church family prayed for a location that would help him to reach more people with the gospel. And the best option turned out to be the former nightclub that was sitting empty.