“‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10, NASB
Your kingdom come
- “Kingdom” is from “βασιλεία” (basileia) which can be translated “kingdom, sovereignty, royal power” (Strong’s)
Your will be done
- “Will” is from “θέλημά” (thelēma) which can be translated as “an act of will, will” or “wishes, desires” (Strong’s) or “what one wishes or has determined shall be done” (Thayer’s).
- “Be done” is from “Γενηθήτω” (Genēthētō) which can be translated “to come into being, to happen, to become” (Strong’s)
On earth as it is in heaven
- “Heaven” is translated from “οὐρανῷ” (ouranō) which can refer to the “heavens” in the context of the earthly atmosphere, or the spiritual heaven. Based on the context, the application of the term to the spiritual heaven is appropriate here.
- “Earth” is translated from “γῆς” (gēs) which can be translated as the physical world, or as land or a region. In this case, it seems that the definition of the physical world is appropriate.
How then shall we pray?
The second stanza of the Lord’s Prayer is a statement of submission.
When the Christian prays “your kingdom come, your will be done”, he or she is expressing a desire for the sovereign rule of God. In scriptural context, this can refer both to the current reign of God from heaven, and the future reign of Christ on earth. When the Christian prays “on earth as it is in heaven” they acknowledge that God does rule in heaven, and then express their desire that he would rule on earth.
Practically speaking, this section of the prayer is an opportunity to acknowledge that the Christian is not, in fact, the ruler of their life, and to focus their mind on seeking the things that the Lord wills. It is a perfect place to pray for political leaders (see 1 Timothy 2:1-2); and is an especially good place to voice worries or fears about events in the world at large, and confess submission to God’s will in those events, even if that will is unpleasant or dangerous.
It is important to note that this petition, that God’s kingdom would come and his will would be done, comes before any personal petitions, including petitions for physical provision and for the forgiveness of sin.
The second portion of the Lord’s Prayer prompts the Christian to submit to God’s rule, and to desire to see his rule over all the earth, both now and in the future.
Bible Hub Interlinear Bible (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2020, from https://biblehub.com/interlinear/matthew/6-9.htm
Definitions quotes from Strong’s Concordance and Thayer’s Greek Lexicon as referenced from the Bible Hub Interlinear Bible
For a more in-depth analysis, see the Matthew Henry commentary found here: