Wednesday, June 04, 2008

With an eye to the kingdom

Have I told you how grateful I am to hear God's living Word preached with power and passion Sunday after Sunday? I told someone that each Sunday I feel as if I am sitting down to Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas dinner and Easter lunch, all at once. A veritable feast. But the kind of feast that leaves you hungering for more, much like David in Ps. 63:

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

"I've seen You," David says, "and I hunger for more." Yes, indeed. This is my heart's cry as well.

Here is something my pastor said recently in a sermon on prayer:

If we do not pray with an eye to the kingdom we pray wrongly.


I have thought of his words as I have prayed; thus with every request I have sought to add a qualifier: "for the glory of God in Christ," "so that many may know Christ is Lord," "for the advancement of the gospel and Your kingdom," or "so that Your name may be exalted."

I have to tell you, my prayers have been transformed! And, if I am honest, many times I've had to alter what I asked of the Lord. Take, for example, a prayer for a physical ailment. Like you, I've often prayed for healing, but mainly because sickness is uncomfortable and painful and could lead to death. Yet as I consider the kingdom of God as I pray, I ask for physical healing but in order for that individual to be able to serve the Lord and proclaim His gospel for many more days and in greater strength.

Do you see the difference? Praying with an eye to the kingdom as I intercede greatly affects what I ask the Lord to do in a given situation.

This hits home in regard to one of my children. He is small, and with older brothers who are tall and talented athletically, being small is difficult. To compound the matter, his younger brother is also tall. I pray daily for him to grow "in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man." I pray this because I know how sensitive he is to his height, I know how insensitive others can be and I know the hurtful things that adults and children alike say to him. And to me. I want to spare him this pain so I ask the Lord to cause him to grow.

But this week, as I pondered praying with an eye to the kingdom, I wondered if I am praying rightly in regard to my son. I know there is nothing wrong with praying for his physical growth, but my main motive has been his comfort. What if the Lord has other plans for him? What if our All Sufficient God wants to show my son His sufficiency in a very real and physical sense? Instead of praying, "Lord make him grow so his life will be easier and more comfortable", can I ask the Lord to cause my son to grow physically only that the kingdom may grow? And if He does not choose to grant this request, can I know that the glory of God will be proclaimed?

Lord, teach us to pray...Thy kingdom come, thy will be done...




11 comments:

  1. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. It's interesting to ponder what this means in our prayers. Thanks for sharing these thoughts Lisa.

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  2. I like to pray His Word back to Him, for it is His very own Words and they hold power. I am comforted by the fact that God will only give me that which is for my good and according to His good and prefect will and that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me when I know not how to pray. This was a very good message. I think it does so much for us when God transforms our prayers...because we sense the power when we are praying according to His will.

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  3. I've prayed some prayers like yours for one of my children lately. I want things to come easy for him in regards to his learning. He is the only one of four who struggles in his academics and we have recently learned that this will more than likely be a struggle that follows him for a long season.

    It's clear that God has given him this portioned cup and that my perspective and prayers need to change.

    I need wisdom and patience to deal with the many changes coming our way. It's so hard to embrace the struggle, but truly, God will give us all what we need to see it through.

    Thank you for your transparency and your look at prayers. May we all hold such kingdom focus.

    peace~elaine

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  4. First of all, I love the new blog design. Second, this was an amazing post, all your posts are great, really. I love hoe you wrote about praying with the focus on the kingdom and what really matters. Beautiful.

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  5. Amen. This was something that really hit home with me this year in our Bible Study. So many of the great prayers in the Old Testament, especially, were prayers that God would move in a certain way so that He would look good to the nations surrounding the Israelites. It gave a whole new meaning to the phrase "For His Name's sake." And also gave the assurance that praying like that, and subsequently praying that He will be glorified in a situation, is a guarantee of answered prayer, because being glorified is always His will!

    It used to stress me out that I had to figure out God's will so I could pray that way and "tell Him" what His will was so He could answer. Duh!

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  6. My prayer is that your sweet boy will realize how BIG he is to God and others, with or without great physical stature.
    He is so awesome.

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  7. This was a very helpful post! I love your new blog look, too! It's cute!

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  8. Thank you for the encouragement. I also want and NEED the Spirit to let me see everything with an eye to His Kingdom... "righteous, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit..."
    today...tomorrow...

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  9. What a wonderful post Lisa. I just found your blog, but it is quickly going into my favorites, as your heart for my savior is evident. Thank you for your insightful words and the reminder to pray in regards to the kingdom!

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  10. I'm just getting to know you (through Jennifer) and I really appreciate the way you share what God is teaching you. It is encouraging and inspiring and I really do appreciate reading what you have to say. Thank you for being willing to take the time to share.

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