Praying for God’s Kingdom
The Gospels tell us that great crowds gathered from Galilee and from surrounding areas to hear Jesus preach about God’s Kingdom. Jesus taught the people the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount on the meaning and the way to true happiness.
The Beatitudes can be found in the Gospel of Matthew 5:3-10:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Beatitudes tell us that we will find true happiness in the Kingdom of God by loving God and neighbor, by seeking justice and by spreading peace. If we live our lives according to the Beatitudes, we can show others what God’s Kingdom is like – a Kingdom of love, justice and peace.
Jesus also taught His disciples The Our Father or The Lord’s Prayer (read Matthew 6:9-13):
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
The Lord’s Prayer contains seven petitions. In the first three petitions, we praise and glorify God. In the next four petitions, we ask God for our needs. The first petition is “Hallowed be thy name.” In the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer, we offer praise to God. God is all holy and His name is holy. The second petition is “Thy Kingdom come.” In the second petition, we ask God for the coming of His Kingdom on earth. The third petition is “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In the third petition, we ask that God’s will be carried out on earth, just as it is being carried out in heaven.
The fourth petition is “Give us this day our daily bread.” In the fourth petition, we ask God to provide for our daily needs, both physical and spiritual. The fifth petition is “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In the fifth petition, we ask God to forgive us our sins, just as we forgive those who sin against us. The sixth petition is “Lead us not into temptation.” In the sixth petition, we ask for God’s protection against temptation, so that we can avoid sin. Finally, the seventh petition is “Deliver us from evil.” In the final petition, we ask God to save us from evil, so that we may one day be with God in His everlasting Kingdom in heaven.
- What are the Beatitudes? What do the Beatitudes promise us?
- Can you say The Our Father by heart?
- How many petitions are contained in The Lord’s Prayer?
- What do we pray for in each of the petitions in The Lord’s Prayer?