Illustration: Lord’s Prayer

In his new book The Prayer God Longs For (InterVarsity), James Emery White says, "When we pray, we are to pray for God's kingdom, God's will, not only to come into our lives and take root, but through us to spread throughout the earth. God's kingdom was announced by Jesus and makes its way into the world from that beachhead as individuals give their hearts and lives to Christ. In that sense God's kingdom has arrived, and we have brought into that kingdom as believers; but the full consummation lies ahead. So to pray the kingdom will come is to pray His kingdom will grow as we pursue our witness to Jesus and live lives of salt and light. So with the Great Commission comes a cultural commission. We pray for the kingdom to take hold on the planet, in governments and institutions, judicial systems and media.

"I was in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the 10th anniversary of the end of apartheid. That day was borne on the prayer for God's kingdom to come. Years before, I was in Moscow, worshiping in a church filled to capacity. Seeing the front rows filled with women wearing scarves, singing with a passion and intensity that was captivating, I leaned over to the pastor and asked through my interpreter who the women were. He answered, 'Those are the women who prayed communism out of Russia.'

"The kingdom is meant to come."