Growing up as a boy in Brooklyn, N.Y., is full of some wonderful memories such as stick ball in the street, the sound of the Good Humor ice cream truck coming down the road on a hot summer day and then there is one of my most dear, walking to church on Sunday mornings with my mother.
Coming from an Italian family, I was brought up Catholic and loved going to Mass. I remember praying the Lord’s Prayer on many occasions. As a teenager, I drifted from my faith, but returned in my mid-20s, getting involved in a Pentecostal church.
Now at 51 years of age and the pastor of a nondenominational church, my favorite prayer to pray after all these years is still the Lord’s Prayer, especially the first two verses, which read, “Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed (Holy) is Your name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10. It is from these two verses that the Lord gave us our church’s mission statement, which is “Loving the King, Demonstrating His Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
Without a lifestyle of the first verse, we can never expect the second verse to be activated in our life with power. I often teach our folks that the more “hallowed be Thy Name” you have in your prayer life, the more His Kingdom will come as you live. We find this powerful principle throughout both the Old and New Testaments.
To understand this, we must first understand what the Kingdom is. It is the King’s dominion, the rule of Jesus Christ. Worship brings the manifest presence of God, “But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Your people.” Psalm 22:3. His throne represents His authority, His Kingdom, the rule of Christ.
We see this in the life of Daniel, a man of prayer. He was a man of worship and prayed three times a day. So when Daniel found himself in the lion’s den, God’s Kingdom, His dominion, came and shut the mouths of the lions. “If God’s people don’t become a people of prayer and worship outside of the lion’s den, we will be a people of panic once inside.”
We see this principle again in the life of Jesus in Matthew 14:21-27. After Jesus feeds the 5,000 with just a few fish and loaves, He sends the crowd and His disciples away and prays throughout the night. The word “pray” in verse 23 also means worship. Following an all-night “hallowed be Thy Name” party, God’s Kingdom came to earth to such a degree that Jesus literally had dominion over the planet’s gravity and walked on water. The more time you and I spend kneeling in God’s world, the more power and authority we will have walking in this one!
That’s the Kingdom Perspective!
Don Sturiano, pastor of Kingdom Life Christian Church, can be reached at 776-0026. Kingdom Life Christian Church meets 10:30 a.m. Sundays at The Renaissance on 9th/Senior Enrichment Center, 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. For more information, visit www.kingdomlife christianchurch.org. Faith Matters is a feature of Saturday’s Herald, written by local clergy members.