What does this mean? “The kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come to us also” (SC, The Second Petition).
As Luther also writes elsewhere,
Now all of us dwell in the devil’s kingdom until the coming of the kingdom of God. However, there is a difference. To be sure, the godly are also in the devil’s kingdom, but they daily and steadfastly contend against sins and resist the lusts of the flesh, the allurements of the world, the whisperings of the devil. After all, no matter how godly we may be, the evil lust always wants to share the reign in us and would like to rule us completely and overcome us. In that way, God’s kingdom unceasingly engages in combat with the devil’s kingdom.LW 42:38-39
Since we are daily in the devil’s kingdom, who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8), we therefore daily pray that God’s kingdom come to us lest we be overcome by the insidious wiles of that vile serpent and the whisperings of his slithering tongue. It is also an eschatological prayer, for when we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” we also pray, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20). It is a prayer of trust in the now and hope for what is to come. This hope is no coin flip like the world’s hope. This hope is faith with assurance in what it hopes for, “the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). It is a prayer that looks not at the world and its tumultuous distractions like Peter did on the waves of Galilee, but one that looks continually toward Christ, our King who is coming to inaugurate His kingdom in the holy city of New Jerusalem.
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