“Come, Lord Jesus!”
The last prayer of the Bible erupts in three fervent little words: “Come, Lord Jesus!” It is fitting that the Bible ends in a prayer. Fitting that the grand love story of Scripture culminates with our response in prayer. No prayer of the Bible is more intense or concise than these three words. Here is the ultimate prayer arising out of the Scriptures, the deepest yearning of every believer’s heart. Even Greek and Latin speaking Christians of the first century so cherished this prayer they preserved it in the original Aramaic, Maranatha! (e.g. 1 Corinthians 16:22 King James Version).
It is impressive that a prayer for Jesus to come is offered up at the conclusion of the book of Revelation, with its repeated promise that Jesus is coming. He is coming for us and to set the world right! Yet, the apostle John, the author of Revelation, reacts to Jesus’ promise with the cry, “Come, Lord Jesus!” Jesus promised to come! John prays for Him to come!
We see John doing what people of prayer throughout the Bible do: calling on God to keep His promise. That is the key to effective, powerful prayer! Pleading the promises of God! George Mueller said that he always prayed with an open Bible:
…filling my praise and petition with God’s word. I pray God’s promise, His declarations concerning Himself. I pray His names and titles by which He reveals His nature and character. I pray the rights he gave the believer to bold and confident access. (Wendy Blight, Living ‘So That’)
The great American revivalist Dwight L. Moody said, “Tarry at a promise and God will meet you there.” (Lloyd Hildebrand, Praying the Promises Changes Things) We pour our prayers into God’s promises.
But the promise that is most on the apostle John’s mind as he closes out the Bible is Christ’s promise to come for us and to set the world right. This promise is at the heart of how Jesus taught us to pray: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
We live in a world that is broken, a world that is not as God intended it to be. Our world agonizes in evil, writhes in suffering, cruelty and disease. All of us suffer the catastrophes of sin and death. But as people of faith, as people of prayer, we are the vanguard movement of God’s new world coming! So we fervently, believingly pray: “Come, Lord Jesus!”
- Take a few moments to meditate on Christ’s coming and “a new heaven and a new earth” promised in Revelation 21:1-5a:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals.He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.”
- Now pray The Lord’s Prayer, taking time to pause on the petition, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
- Carry with you into the day the Bible’s last prayer, “Come, Lord Jesus.”
- Notice how carrying this prayer with you reorients your life to the promise of Christ’s return.
- The next time you gather with others for prayer, why not include this petition in your prayers? “Come, Lord Jesus!”
“The Church in sighs and groans, and by the mouth her of children, solicits the coming of Jesus Christ…Enkindle in me, O Lord, this desire; enable my poor soul to join the beloved disciple in this prayer: Come Lord Jesus; that she may go and lose herself in Thee, who art her Centre, her God, her all.”
Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary