Your Kingdom Come

Your Kingdom Come

Words can get us in trouble.

Depending on where they are spoken, who is speaking them, who they are spoken to, and the consequences involved, words can radically change our life.

Go on an airplane and say, “I have a bomb.” Your life will be different.  Stand in front of an altar with the one you love and say, “For better for worse, for richer or poorer, I do.” Raise your right hand in a court of law and say, “I solemnly swear to tell the truth.” Words can rearrange your life.

But I believe the most life-altering, radical, dangerous, consequential words we can say are recorded in the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray – “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Now I know we can say these words without meaning them, and not much happens, except we get more used to praying things we don’t really mean.

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Provoking God

Provoking God

Do you know how to provoke a response? My wife does. If she’s talking and I’m not listening, she turns toward the wall and says, “Why thank you, Wall. It’s so enjoyable to converse with you today. I delight in these one-way conversations.” She’s provoking a response.

We find good company in Psalm 77. Someone is provoking God to respond to their dark, desperate situation. It begins with an emotive gush:

I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might, I yell at the top of my lungs. I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord; my life was an open wound that wouldn’t heal. When friends said, ‘Everything will turn out all right,’ I didn’t believe a word they said.” (The Message)

What’s the problem? We don’t know. That’s what I like about these lament psalms – they are fill-in-the-blank-prayers. I can insert my own trouble. And we have plenty, don’t we?

  • Loss of people we love
  • A cutback at work
  • Shrinking 401C
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Moving to a town you hate
  • A kid going bad
  • A business going under
  • A deep loneliness
  • A painful memory that camps on the front door of our consciousness
  • A marriage getting uglier by the day
  • A checkbook bleeding red
  • A relationship that ended when we didn’t want it to

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