This short phrase is found in a section of the Lord's model prayer regarding man's need to recognize the authority of God in our life: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10, KJV). The significance of this entire phrase will be discussed next week, but the prayer regarding the coming of the kingdom is worthy of our attention.
The word "kingdom" refers to kingship, dominion or rule. Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is not confined to a physical territory upon this earth. It is a spiritual kingdom which exists within the hearts of those who acknowledge and submit to the rule of God in their lives. "Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, 'The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, "See here!" or "See there!" For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you'" (Luke 17:20-21).
The anticipated kingdom was established when the apostles preached the gospel on the first Pentecost after the Lord's resurrection (Mark 9:1; Acts 1:6-8; 2:1-4). Prior to this event, the kingdom is spoken of in the future sense; something that is anticipated but not yet present. After Acts chapter two, the kingdom is spoken of as being in existence (see Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:9).
Despite this fact, when Premillennialists pray "Thy kingdom come" they are expecting the Lord to return and sit upon the throne of David in Jerusalem and reign upon the earth for a thousand years. To them, the kingdom has not been established yet, even though the Lord and His apostles taught that it had.
It is not proper for us to repeat the words "Thy kingdom come" for the kingdom has come since this prayer was first spoken by the Lord. Instead, we ought to recognize the kingdom as a present reality and pray that it will grow and expand in our world today.