Last night, too late in the evening, before I turned off the light to go to sleep, I checked Facebook. I It’s a bad habit that I try not to indulge, but last night I found myself perusing my newsfeed and notifications. As I did so, I was reminded of one reason it’s never good to do that.
Earlier in the day I had commented on someone’s post with the words, “God bless you guys.” In response, someone had replied to my comment with a chafing remark…words of questioning how I could wish God’s blessing on someone making questionable decisions…attacking words on me and my (supposed, based on my comment) standpoint on controversial issues…generally cruel and unnecessary words of condemnation for me from someone I’ve never met and likely will never meet in person.
I can’t lie. It hurt. I’m a people pleaser, and I never like to feel like I’ve done something to upset someone. This was more than that, though. Some people have really thick skin and aren’t affected by things like that, but I’m not one of those people. As silly as it might seem, it felt like a personal attack, and I tried to pray the hurt away as I turned off the light.
I squeezed my eyes shut and did my best to slow my breathing, but the only words I could find were, “Father, let your Kingdom come.”
“Let your Kingdom come.
Let your Kingdom come.
Lord, let your Kingdom come.”
Over and over the words turned over in my mind as I dozed off, and this morning, sitting at my desk here in my office, I’m trying to pray a different hurt away. I just saw horrific news of a shooting and the senseless deaths of two news personnel, and while I want to pray…I want to cry out…my words just won’t come.
And again I have no other words but, “Father, let your Kingdom come.”
At times like this, I feel like I should be able to pray my most eloquent prayers. In reality, though, this is when words fail. This is when words seem trite and cliche and meaningless, despite my best intentions. And when I – one who usually has little trouble expressing myself in words – struggle to find the words for what I’m feeling, I can only turn to the words of Jesus himself.
Scripture tells us that when we don’t have words, the Spirit intercedes on our behalf, and I believe that is definitely happening at times like this. However, I am just beginning to understand how Jesus’ instructions to pray those specific words can have tremendous power in actually ushering in his Kingdom.
Friends, our world is – to put it mildly – a mess. But Jesus promises us that we won’t stay in this mess forever. He has told us about a time and a place when all things will be made right. When sadness will be unheard of and tears will be wiped away and death will be a memory. A time when every nation, tribe, and tongue will sing praises to the living God, and every knee will bow at the name of Jesus. It’s a reality. A reality we can’t see yet…but a reality nonetheless.
So today, as we reel in shock of yet another horrifying tragedy and brace ourselves for whatever else might be coming, let’s unite our voices.
Father, let your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.