If you could ask God for one thing and be guaranteed he would grant your wish, I wonder what your request would be? I imagine most of us would quickly get past the immediate thought of a punnet of blueberries each morning for breakfast for life (or whatever your self-concerned luxury might be), because if this is indeed a serious offer from God, then we need to consider it very … well … seriously. And then a whole range of candidates line up, vying for front-of-queue position, eagerly putting up their hands and clamouring, ‘choose me; choose me!’
Do you ask God for something global? Peace for the Middle East? Human trafficking to cease? Safe habitats for the endangered species of our planet? The political will to cut carbon emissions?
Perhaps it’s something much closer to home. A cure for your relative’s terminal illness? For your friend’s depression to come to an end? For that addiction to lose its power? For the bullying at school to stop?
The trouble is, in my experience anyway, for all of these complex circumstances and hundreds like them, it’s difficult to know exactly what to ask for. Finding the words to fully articulate a request to God can be hard.
Fortunately, help is at hand. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to every parish in the land challenging us to use one particular phrase urgently and fervently. Three little words which come straight out of the Lord’s Prayer. Three little words with which we can hold up to God the knottiest, most labyrinthine, unsolvable of problems.
Three little prayer words: Thy kingdom come.
Three little words we can start using even today.
Ian Rumsey, Vicar