Once when my church was still meeting in an elementary school, a well-spoken, gentle young man decided to visit us. We happened to be teaching on Luke 4:40-43 where Jesus heals scores of people and casts out demons from sundown to sunup one night. We talked about how Luke records Jesus saying in verse 43, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”
We discussed how many of those people probably felt as if Jesus was turning their world upside down. However, what Jesus was actually doing was helping to set everything right side up again.
So many areas that had been turned upside down by the Fall in Eden were getting turned right side up by Jesus bringing the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.
Little did I know, the kingdom of God was about to invade that young man’s life. After the service as folks were tearing stuff down, he came up to me weeping and asking if I would pray for him. So I took him behind the stage and off to the side where we wouldn’t attract any attention.
I felt led to ask him if he was having any compulsive sinful behaviors or thoughts. Areas where he almost felt driven to do or think those destructive things, no matter how hard he fought against them. He mentioned three areas and confirmed that those were the reasons he wanted prayer.
So I began by helping him with a prayer of confession in each of those areas. Then, starting with the first area of concern, I prayed that God would bring him cleansing and deliverance from that stronghold, and that His kingdom would come.
Suddenly, he began convulsing and vomited all over the floor and a little on one of my boots. Assuring him everything was okay, I gently began praying for the second area and… another big puddle of vomit. This time, though, I was able to get my feet out of the way in time. God blessed us with similar success in the third area as well.
The young man was overwhelmed with a feeling of peace as he shed a few tears of joy. It was amazing to watch Jesus’ kingdom begin to flip upside down areas of his life right side up in such a dramatic way. Praise God!
However, when Jesus commands us to pray for His kingdom to come, He isn’t speaking only of exorcisms and healings. He’s mostly speaking of us letting the King be Himself in us. And can you imagine what a tremendous blessing we Christians would be to the world if we believed and prayed the promise Jesus made that His disciples would do the same works as He did?
In the prayer, “Thy kingdom come,” we ask that the kingdom of God may be set forth to us, even as we also ask that His name may be sanctified in us. … He who dedicates himself to God and Christ desires not earthly, but heavenly kingdoms. … We add, also, and say, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” … Now that is the will of God, which Christ both did and taught. Humility in conversation; steadfastness in faith; modesty in words; justice in deeds; mercifulness in works; discipline in morals; to be unable to do a wrong, and to be able to bear a wrong when done; to keep peace with the brethren; to love God with all one’s heart; to love Him in that He is a Father; to fear Him in that He is God; to prefer nothing whatever to Christ, because He did not prefer anything to us; to adhere inseparably to His love; to stand by His cross bravely and faithfully. – Cyprian 250CE Volume 5, p. 788-789