"Thy Kingdom Come"
I was brought up in a strong Christian family, so the Lord's prayer is in my earliest memories. We used the King James Version of the Bible, and as a small child I used to puzzle over what might be meant by "we chart in Heaven" (my child's version of Our Father, which art in Heaven). I believe it engaged my mind and heart in that larger heavenly kingdom, where each of us has a place, from those very early days of childhood.

In recent years, my morning prayers tend always to begin with the "Our Father....."  From "Hallowed be Thy Name" one then moves to "thy Kingdom come, thy will be done," and this well before the immediate personal needs that tend to well up when entering that quiet place. Beginning with the Name of God and God's kingdom is a way of placing the tiny self in a realm of infinite possibility - that stretches out indeed to earth and heaven - bringing heavenly possibilities to an earthly level.

In looking back over my life experience between China, the country of my adoption, and Canada, my country of birth, I can now see how God's will played out in ways far beyond my own plans or calculations. I can see how decisions I made in times of stress and crisis prepared me for future responsibilities I had never imagined. Choosing to place our small selves in God's kingdom, and asking for His will to be done in our lives as the first order of concern, before the specific needs we are invited to bring to God in our daily prayers, prepares us for the unexpected. It prepares us for nothing less than an outworking of Heaven's pattern on earth that can result in our being "surprised by joy," to use a phrase I love from C S Lewis.

Submitted by
Dr. Ruth Hayhoe

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