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Prayer Priorities

 

December 2

 

Read Matthew 6:10 (ESV)

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

Reflect

Do you begin your prayers focused on His kingdom and His will or on your own “kingdom” and your own priorities?

 

Today, we are continuing to study the way that Jesus taught us to pray, the Lord’s prayer. Jesus told His disciples that when we pray we should say, “Our Father, in heaven, hallowed be your name…” (Matthew 6:9). He went on to pray for the Father’s kingdom to come and for His will to be done on earth as it is done in heaven. But what does Jesus mean by this?

 

Theologians often say that the kingdom of God is “already, but not yet” here. God is and always will be on the throne. Jesus sits at the right hand of Father. In that sense, the kingdom of God is a present reality. Ephesians 1:20-21 says, “That he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”

 

It is also a present reality in the hearts and lives of believers and His body, the church. In Colossians 1:13, Paul said, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son….” In John 18:36, Jesus confirmed that His kingdom is not of this world. Those of us who have put our faith in Jesus Christ are still living in the world, but we are not of the world. In John 15:19, Jesus told His disciples that the world doesn’t love them because they are not of this world. He chose them out of this world. Physically, believers live in the world, the domain of darkness. But spiritually, we already belong in the kingdom of God. He is already our King and He already rules our hearts and lives.

 

But the kingdom of God is not yet a physical reality on earth. The author of Hebrews says that “at present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him” (Hebrews 2:8). But one day, it will be. Jesus is coming back to establish His physical kingdom here on earth.

 

So what should we do in the meantime? I believe Jesus is saying that we should pray, with His kingdom at the top of our list of priorities. Notice that in the Lord’s prayer, Jesus does not model petitioning God with our own personal needs first. Instead, Jesus begins His prayer focused on asking God to continue to advance His kingdom and carry out His sovereign will.

 

God doesn’t need us to pray for His will to be done in order for His will to be done. God will accomplish His plans with or without us. But praying this way demonstrates our submission to His will. It shows that we identify as citizens of His kingdom. It shows that we are primarily concerned with heavenly things instead of merely concerned with earthly things.

 

In Revelation 22:20, we see John pray with kingdom priorities when he wrote: “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” John wanted what he saw in his vision to be fulfilled as soon as possible. He wasn’t focused on all of the issues he had on earth (and he had plenty).

 

Paul also had his priorities straight and he knew that one day, he would be rewarded for it: “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). Believers who pray for His kingdom to come “love his appearing.” We long for it. We are looking forward to it!

 

Friends, God is responsible for establishing His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. He will do His will. But in our prayers, we should keep the right priorities. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Our earthly, physical needs matter to God but our eternal salvation and the salvation of others is of primary importance. Our prayers should be front-loaded with kingdom priorities and a submission to His will. He’s already our King, so let’s keep our prayer priorities straight.

 

Pray

Lord, I long for Your kingdom to come. As the hymn says, when I turn my eyes upon You, “the things of earth grow strangely dim.” When I focus on Your kingdom, Your purposes, and Your promises, my earthly problems are still there but they pale in comparison to the hope I have in You. I submit to Your will. Come quickly Lord, Jesus. Amen.

 

~ Pastor Nat Crawford

 

 

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a day ago
AMEN.
(Please pray for my chronic pain and healing. Thank you 🙏)
2 days ago
Amen
3 days ago
Lord I'm so thankful for the " already but the not yet "
3 days ago
Lord Jesus, You are loyal and true in everything you have said in Your Word. Build up my hope as I continue to look forward to Your quiet, soft spoken voice, urging me to focus on You, And in return, I will sing praises to Your name
3 days ago
Please pray for David he is an abuser to his mother an has manipulated the preacher an deacon. No one will listen an this man is the guitar player for a praise teem. Is it wrong for me to keep myself from him because he has insulted me. An caused undue pain.
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