- how prayer is an amazing invitation
- beginning with praise: “Our Father in heaven…”
- and about the most misunderstood – but most exciting – request in the Lord’s prayer: “…hallowed be Your name…”
- there is a good King (and it’s not us) (1 Sam 8:7, Psalm 47:7)
- there is an horrific insurgency (Gen 3:1-5, Eph 6:11-12)
- the stakes are high (e.g. eternal consequences) (Rev 20:11-15)
- we humans are either in God’s kingdom or in the dominion of the insurgency (Col 1:13)
Uh, wow… how do I pray about that?
It’s kind of hard to wrap our minds around something so cosmic, so significant, and so unseen.
But we see the impact ‘in the trenches’ every day. Most significantly, some of our family, friends and neighbors are in a desperate situation: without Christ. If they have not placed their faith in Christ alone then let’s pray for them. Below are some examples of how. (In some of them you’ll find us using a pattern throughout prayers in the Bible, especially the Psalms… expressing our trust in the reality that God reveals. It’s not the same as a request, but it’s a great way to lead up to what we’re asking for. At least for me, it helps me pray with perspective.) So let’s look at those examples.
But before we do…
I remember some sayings that have stuck out to me over the years:
- Being in McDonald’s doesn’t make you a hamburger
- Walking into a garage doesn’t make you a car.
- And being religious doesn’t make you a Christian.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)
When we work at McDonald’s, or in a garage, or in any job, we get wages. It’s what we earn… what we deserve. When we sin, there is a wage we earn: eternal separation from God in just, conscious torment for our sin.
But when someone gives you a gift, they don’t ask you to pay for it. In fact, they won’t let you. It becomes yours when you receive it. It’s the same way with salvation.
Have you ever turned from your own attempts at self-salvation to rest solely on Christ? Please do. And please let me know or any of us leaders know if you want to talk more about it.
Praying for His kingdom to come
If the upcoming political season provokes deep emotion in you…
“Lord, I know that hope is not found in any government or political party. Your heavenly government offers the only real hope. Please do whatever it takes in the elections so that Your kingdom will be advanced here.”
When we or our brethren are persecuted…
“Lord, it makes me sad and afraid to see what is happening more and more in the world and in this country. But I thank You that the worst that the enemy can do is take our physical life. I pray that You would strengthen us to treasure Your kingdom more than our possessions or bodies. Please give me courage to hold them loosely for Your sake and the sake of others.”
When the person in line or on the street next to you is rude…
“Lord, I’m mad right now. But thank You that this is just how I behaved toward You when I was still an unbeliever. In fact, I was far worse. Please help this person to come into your kingdom. Please provide them Your word, please provide them bold, loving Christ followers in their life, please make them Your child.”
When you or a family member experiences success at school or work or home…
“Lord, thank You for this success. But more than this I want to see success in Your kingdom. Please bring true spiritual progress and productivity in our lives. Please bring real, lasting treasure into our path. Please help us to keep this temporal success in an eternal perspective.”
When your family member is still hostile to the gospel…
“Lord, I’m discouraged and I feel like my prayers and love are having no impact. But You say to not give up when we pray (Luk 18). So I beg You Lord… please draw them to Yourself. Please do what I cannot do in Your kingdom. Please give me boldness and wisdom and love in the meantime. In Jesus’ name.”