Using the The Lord’s Prayer as a Guide: Part 3

family prayingThy Kingdom Come

What we think about God does matter. A. W. Tozer, said this, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” One of the reasons it is so important is that if we perceive God in either His disposition or in His attributes wrongly, it will be nearly impossible for us to build an intimate loving relationship with Him through prayer. Tozer also said this,

 

“That our idea of God corresponds as nearly as possible to the true being of God is of immense importance to us. Compared with our actual thoughts about Him, our creedal statements are of little consequence.”

 

What did he mean? He meant this. It is one thing to confess, “I have been adopted by God and I am now one of His children”, and a whole other thing to actually believe, cherish, and live in that truth. It is one thing to confess that, “God is good, holy, and just.” It is another thing to relate to, and interact with Him as such. I believe this is why the Lord Jesus would have us begin our prayers by recognizing God as our Heavenly Father. That we know His fatherly disposition towards us is very important. Either we are drawing near to our beckoning heavenly Father, or, we are drawing near to a demanding Holy Judge. One of these is a delight to come to, the other, repels us.

 

Once we accept that God is our heavenly Father, a new question arises, “What is He like?” This is where meditation upon God’s attributes, or “hallowing” His name comes into play. We learn of Him as we learn of His actions in the world via the Holy Scriptures. We see in them His Law, His judgments, His protections, His promises, His blessings, His curses, His forgiveness, etc, etc. As we learn and meditate upon God’s Word we come to know Him. This prepares us to be able to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Let me explain.

 

I am married and have been for 16 years. I have five children ranging in age from 15 down to 5. I would hope that they know how much I love them because I have demonstrated it to them on a daily basis. God did this for us in the Gospel. Jesus dying for us on the cross is God’s daily kiss to us. It is His, “I love you”. But there is another aspect. I would also hope that after having lived with me for so long that they would also know how I would respond in any given situation. I would hope that, in my absence, they would be able to anticipate my will, and act accordingly. In the case of our “Father in heaven”, we learn this through reading and meditating upon God’s Word.   This equips us, who are not in His immediate Presence as of yet, to be able to offer prayers that are shaped by a knowledge of His will.

 

Praying for God’s Kingdom to come on the earth is where we move into what is commonly called intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is when we pray for others, when we speak to God on someone else’s behalf. I would encourage you however, to not just think about your friends sickness, which often takes up much of our intercessory prayer time, but to also think about larger issues as well. Praying for God’s kingdom to come could mean praying that God would end abortion in the U.S., or that He would miraculously close the local abortion clinic. It could mean interceding for the homeless community, which is a community filled with mentally ill people often under demonic influences. It could mean praying for an end to gang violence, or the scourge of fatherlessness, or standing in the gap for drug addiction in your community. It could also mean praying for the removal of institutional evil in your community of national government. Praying for God’s Kingdom to come upon the earth is praying for people that you know that need the Lord’s grace and help, but it is also learning to become like Daniel (the Old Testament prophet) and intercede for your nation.

 

There are many ways to make a list of intercessory prayer requests. Here is one that I suggest. For an entire month choose:

 

A Kingdom Request (abortion, homelessness, etc) ___________________________________

 

Someone in Civil Authority ______________________________________________________

 

An Elder and a Deacon _________________________________________________________

 

An Enemy ___________________________________________________________________

 

Salvation Request _____________________________________________________________

 

Salvation Request _____________________________________________________________

 

Family Members _______________________________________________________________

 

Family Members _______________________________________________________________

 

Family Members _______________________________________________________________

 

Special Requests ______________________________________________________________

 

Special Requests ______________________________________________________________

 

Special Requests ______________________________________________________________

 

Special Requests ______________________________________________________________

 

Special Requests ______________________________________________________________

 

Special Requests ______________________________________________________________

 

Special Requests ______________________________________________________________


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