On Earth as it is in Heaven
Passage: Matthew 6:9-13 and 26:36-39
What is a story (movie, book, etc.) that has sparked in your imagination a longing for another world or expanded your imagination in considering what life could be like?
Read Matthew 6:5-13 and 26:36-39. What ideas or phrases surprise, encourage, or spark questions for you?
The kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God in every sphere of life. The evidence of God’s kingdom is in the hearts of believers (faith in the gospel) and in the lives of believers embodying peace, justice, creation care, racial healing, mercy to the stranger and foreigner, etc. (fruit of the gospel). How does this understanding encourage you in praying to God, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”?
One way to understand our post-Christian culture is that it is “a culture seeking the kingdom without the king.” There are rightfully loud cries for social justice, economic equality, and human dignity for all. How does following King Jesus shape the way we pursue truth, goodness, and beauty?
How does Covenant Church as an embassy of the kingdom of God participate in praying for and pursuing the kingdom of God? How does considering the church an embassy shape your understanding of participating in the local church?
Theologian Karl Barth wrote, “to clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.” In what ways can we (individually, as a community group, as Covenant Church) continue or begin to push against the disorder of the world, to desire what God desires?
In Matthew 26:39, Jesus prays to our Father in heaven, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus prayed this prayer, bent his will to the Father, so that we could live. Prayer heats up our hearts to mold them into God’s will. How have you experienced this in your life? How does Jesus’s prayer help you to pray this part of the Lord’s prayer?
Share with your group how they can be praying for you: what is weighing on you from this past week? What are you praising God for from this past week?
“Grant, Almighty God, that as you shine on us by your Word, we may not be blind at midday, nor willfully seek darkness, and thus lull our minds asleep; but may we be roused daily by your words, and may we stir up ourselves more and more to fear your name and thus present ourselves and all our pursuits as a sacrifice to you, that you may peaceably rule and perpetually dwell in us, until you gather us to your celestial habitation, where there is reserved for us eternal rest and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” John Calvin (1509-1564) French theologian and longtime pastor in Geneva, Switzerland.