Jesus taught his followers to pray, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." The confident hope of the Christian is that this prayer will be answered. We look forward to the day when God's kingdom will be established on the earth, through the loving rule of his Son, the anointed King.

One of my favourite hymns for expressing this hope is the following paraphrase of Psalm 72, by James Montgomery (1771-1854). It’s normally sung in a shorter version, with four of five verses, but here it is, as it appeared in Montgomery’s own 1853 book, Original Hymns for Public, Private, and Social Devotion:

1 Hail to the Lord’s anointed!
    Great David’s greater Son;
Hail in the time appointed,
    His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,
    To let the captive free;
To take away transgression,
    And rule in equity.

2 He comes with succour speedy,
    To those who suffer wrong;
To help the poor and needy,
    And bid the weak be strong:
To give them songs for sighing,
    Their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemn’d and dying,
    Were precious in His sight.

3 By such shall He be feared,
    While sun and moon endure,
Beloved, obey’d, revered;
    For He shall judge the poor,
Through changing generations,
    With justice, mercy, truth,
While stars maintain their stations,
    Or moons renew their youth.

4 He shall come down like showers,
    Upon the fruitful earth,
And love, joy, hope, like flowers,
    Spring in His path to birth:
Before Him, on the mountains,
    Shall Peace, the herald, go;
And Righteousness, in fountains,
    From hill to valley flow.

5 Arabia’s desert-ranger
    To Him shall bow the knee,
The Ethiopian stranger
    His glory come to see;
With offerings of devotion,
    Ships from the Isles shall meet,
To pour the wealth of ocean
    In tribute at His feet.

6 Kings shall fall down before Him,
    And gold and incense bring,
All nations shall adore Him,
    His praise all people sing:
For He shall have dominion
    O’er river, sea, and shore,
Far as the eagle’s pinion
    Or dove’s light wing can soar.

7 For Him shall prayer unceasing,
    And daily vows, ascend;
His kingdom still increasing,
    A kingdom without end:
The mountain-dews shall nourish
    A seed in weakness sown,
Whose fruit shall spread and flourish,
    And shake like Lebanon.

8 O’er every foe victorious,
    He on His throne shall rest,
From age to age more glorious,
    All-blessing and all-blest;
The tide of time shall never
    His covenant remove;
His Name shall stand for ever,
    That Name to us is—Love.