week we started talking about the Lord's Prayer: "Our
Father who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name."
Today I would like to continue with "Your kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
The beauty about this prayer and the way it begins is it
helps us understand our relationship with God. It
is about our relationship with Him. Prayer is about communicating
with God; establishing our relationship and our love with
Him. That process allows His will to take place in our lives
and at the same time letting Him know our desires and our
wishes and our wants and our needs. When I look at the Lord's
Prayer, I find a beautiful instruction manual, which in
reality is exactly what it is, because Jesus was answering
the question of His apostles, after all. They said,
"Lord, teach us to pray." In response He
started reciting what we know as the "Lord's Prayer."
Father who art in heaven," addresses our relationship
with God: Our Father, realizing that a father loves his
children, and wants to give his children good gifts.
What we see in part two is that a good father will not give
his children things they should not have. So our next prayer
is recognizing the sovereignty of God, recognizing the wisdom
of God; and recognizing that as we pray, we must be in submission
to God. So we say, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven." That is our prayer.
Before we ask for things of a personal nature, we need to
recognize we may not even know what is best for us.
And so we say the prayer, "Your will be done."
don't understand how all the pieces of prayer work together.
When we pray about our personal desires, or we ask for something,
and then we receive an answer, we don't understand how all
those pieces work together. We'll never understand
that. What we do know is that God does understand
and as a result of that, God gives us what we need and He
knows what we need and if we are willing to come under submission
of His will for our lives, we will experience the joy and
the bounty and the blessings that He wants for us.
Bell Graham, Billy Graham's wife, said this: "I am
so glad God did not listen to my foolish demands in my younger
years. I would have married the wrong guy 15 times."
When we start praying, before we get to our petitions about
wanting all and having all our desires and needs, first
of all we have to realize that the God we are praying to
does have the ability, and if it is right for you and if
it is good for the world, and for His kingdom, He will give
you anything you ask. But, our heart must be right.
Our heart must be pure, our heart must be in a position
where we are willing to accept whatever is God's will for
our lives. It's not my kingdom come, my will be done,
it is Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth in my
life as it is in heaven. So it begins with first of
all understanding the kingdom of God. What is the
kingdom of God? It is not like an earthly kingdom,
as we understand earthly kingdoms. It is a spiritual
kingdom without boundaries, without respect for borders,
without understanding of economics, without a spirit of
anything but love, and so God's kingdom is people of all
races. His kingdom consists of all economic levels,
it consists of all colors, and it is a montage of humanity
with one simple thing in common. The Bible says, quoting
Jesus, "Anyone who comes unto Me, I will in no way
cast out." That is what Jesus says. Those
are the words of Jesus. All you have to do is accept those
words and you enter into this special spiritual kingdom
of God, so that you become part of God's family. As a son
or a child of God, you're a part of this kingdom and you
can pray these prayers: "Our Father."
have a little card with these words on it, and there's a
place on it for you to sign. I have given this card to many,
many, many, many people. It is my hope to give a million
of these cards away every year so if you want some write
to me and I'll give you some and you can give them away.
It's just a simple little card and it says this, the words
of Jesus Christ: "Anyone who comes to me I will in
no way cast out, Jesus Christ." There's a place
for you to sign your name and it says, "I accept"
and you sign your name. I started giving these away some
time ago and one of the gentlemen who received a card was
a man by the name of Carl Linder. He's the owner of the
Cincinnati Reds. I was visiting with him and he pulls out
his wallet from his pocket, and he opens it up and pulls
out his card and he showed it to me proudly.
reminded me of a gentleman by the name of Frank Pastori.
Frank Pastori was a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.
He told a story about taking his son to Disney World.
Now I know the people in Florida think Disney World is the
best but you know Disneyland is every bit as good as Disney
World. It is just a condensed version; it doesn't take you
as long to get from one ride to the next. So he took his
son in through the main entrance and through the ticket
gate and there they saw this incredible hill and on the
hillside is a beautiful face of Mickey Mouse all in flowers.
Above that they see the train coming in, and off to the
side of the hill are the two tunnels that lead in to Disney
son was just in awe looking at the hillside and the train,
and when his father said, "Let's go to Disney World,"
the son cried because he didn't want to leave and stop looking
at the hillside and train. Frank had to take him through
the tunnel kicking and crying until suddenly the son realized
and discovered that he had only entered, it was just the
beginning. The kingdom was absolutely magnificent.
here we are, signing, "I accept." We're
at the entrance of the kingdom of God, and from there we
discover that there is much more. I want to share
with you and take you by the hand and show you all the beautiful
things that are in this kingdom. I want to invite
you to join the Crystal Cathedral and we will give you some
tools to give you the spiritual growth you need to experience
the joy and the goodness that God has for you. Just
write to me and let me know you want to take some next steps.
Join the church.
15 says this: "I am the true vine and My Father is
the gardener. Remain in Me and I will remain in you.
No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain on the
vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain
in Me. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear
much fruit for apart from Me, you can do nothing.
If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever
you wish and it will be given to you. I've told you
this so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may
good friend of mine, named Dan shared with me about a time
he built an airplane with his son, Nick. It was one
of those model airplanes with an engine on it and he said
they meticulously worked on it for weeks. They spent many
hours putting all these pieces together making it work and
the day came when it was complete. They took it out
to a field and started up the engine and it flew and it
went up in the air. His son was trying to control
the airplane and he just couldn't control it and pretty
soon it started doing circles. Every circle got bigger
and bigger and bigger and all of a sudden ka-boom.
It crashed into a million pieces, there was nothing left
of the airplane. It was shattered and Dan looked at
son and said, "Nick, did you see that thing crash?"
Nick looked at Dan and he said, "Dad, did you
see that plane fly?"
often we miss the flight that God gives us in fear of the
crash. So our prayer begins with "Our Father,
who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy name. Thy
kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
The first part recognizes that God can, He has the ability
and He will give us what we need when our hearts are receptive
and open and honest. God wants to see us fly. It begins
with our relationship with Him. Our Father, entering
into His kingdom and seeing His face before us. And
then growing in the full knowledge of His love, abiding
in His love and then and only then do we come and we say,
"Give us this day our daily bread."
that's what we'll talk about next week.
closing let's pray the Lord's Prayer together:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done,
On earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors and
Lead us not into temptation and
Deliver us from evil
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power,
And the glory forever and ever, Amen.