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Origen on Prayer
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CHAPTER XV

THY KINGDOM COME

Thy Kingdom Come. According to the word of our Lord and Savior, the Kingdom of God does not come observably, nor shall men say ‘Lo it is here’, or ‘Lo is it there’, but the Kingdom of God is within us; for the utterance is exceedingly near in our mouth and in our heart. It is therefore plain that he who prays for the coming of the kingdom of God prays with good reason for rising and fruit bearing and perfecting of God’s kingdom within him.

For every saint is ruled over by God and obeys the Spiritual laws of God, and conducts himself like a well-ordered city; and the Father is present with him, and Christ rules together with the Father in the perfected Soul, according to the saying that I mentioned shortly before: We will come unto him and make abode with him. By God’s kingdom I understand the blessed condition of the mind and the settled order of wise reflection; by Christ’s kingdom the issue of words of salvation to their hearers and the practice of acts of righteousness and the other excellences; for the son of God is word and righteousness.

But every sinner is tyrannized by the ruler of this world, since every sinner is in conformity with the present evil world, and does not yield himself to Him who gave Himself for us sinners that He might release us from the present evil world and release us according to the will of God our Father, as it is expressed in the Epistle to Galatians. And he who, by reason of deliberate sin is tyrannized by the ruler of this world, is also ruled over by sin: wherefore we are bidden by Paul to be no longer subject to sin that would rule over us, and we are enjoined in these words, Let sin therefore not rule in our mortal body that we should obey its lusts.

But in reference to both clauses Hallowed Be Thy Name and Thy Kingdom Come, it may be urged that, if the suppliant prays them with a view to being heard and ever is heard, plainly his will be an instance, answering to what has just been said, of the name of God being hallowed and of the rise of the Kingdom of God, in which event how shall he any longer with propriety pray for things already present as though they not present, saying Hallowed be Thy Name: Thy Kingdom Come:?—And in that case it will sometimes be proper not to say Hallowed Be Thy Name: Thy Kingdom Come.

To this it may be replied that just as he who prays to obtain a word of knowledge and a word of wisdom will with propriety pray for them continually with the prospect of continually receiving fuller contemplations of wisdom and knowledge through being heard, although his knowledge of such things as he may be able in the present to receive is partial, whereas the perfect that annuls the partial shall then be manifested when the mind confronts its objects face to face without sensation—so perfection in our individual hallowing of the name of God and in the rise of His kingdom within us is not possible unless there also come perfection of knowledge and wisdom and it may be the other excellences.

We are wayfaring toward perfection if we forget the things behind, pressing on toward those before us. The kingdom of God within us will therefore be consummated in us as we advance without ceasing, when, the saying in the Apostle is fulfilled, that Christ, His enemies all made subject to Him, shall deliver the kingdom to God the Father that God may be All in All. For this reason let us pray without ceasing with a disposition made divine by the Word, and say to our Father in heaven: Hallowed Be Thy Name: Thy Kingdom Come. Of the kingdom of God it is further to be said by way of distinction that as righteousness has no partnership with lawlessness and light no community with darkness and Christ no argument with Belial, so a kingdom of sin is incompatible with the Kingdom of God.

If, accordingly we would be ruled over by God, by no means let sin rule in our mortal body nor let us obey its commands when it calls our soul forth to the works of the flesh that are alien to God, but let us mortify our members that are on earth and bear the fruits of the Spirit that the Lord may walk in us as in a spiritual garden, ruling alone over us with His Christ seated within us on the right of the Spiritual power that we pray to receive, sitting until all His enemies within us become a footstool for His feet and every rule and authority and power be undone from us.

These things may come to pass in the case of each of us, and death the last energy be undone, so that Christ may say within us also O death, where is your sting? O grave! Where is your victory? Even now, therefore, let our corruptible put on the holiness and incorruptibleness that consists in chastity and purity, and our mortal, death undone, wrap itself in the paternal immortality, so that, being ruled over by God, we may even now live amid the blessings of regeneration and resurrection.

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