Summary: Becoming a Person of Prayer, part 5 Divine Intervention, part 2 “Your Kingdom Come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
Becoming a Person of Prayer, part 5
Divine Intervention, part 2
“Your Kingdom Come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
December 5, 2010
Last week I was rushed and I was heavy on theology; not a good combination. This week I want to share how, through prayer, we can bring the power of the age to come to bear on our circumstances and the circumstances around us. I will start with ourselves and move in concentric circles out to the world. I talked with someone this week that never prays for themselves. Yet the Bible teaches us to pray for ourselves. It is not selfish; it is in our own self interest. There is a difference between selfishness and self interest. Selfishness is doing something for my own end in mind; self interest is doing something for a greater good. For our own lives, the most important thing we can pray for is intimacy with God. Everything in life flows out of our relationship with God. God is our life line; he is the bread of life; without him we cannot accomplish or do anything of eternal value (John 15:5). Intimacy is such a big issue with God that He will withhold his resources until we speak to him and ask him because he wants relationship with us. God is jealous for our affections and attention (Ex 20:8; 34:14). This is how prayer works - God speaks to move our hearts; we speak and move Gods heart. Then I pray that my life would be pleasing to God (Heb 11:6; 1 Thes 4:1; 2:4; Rom 8:8). Now when we hear that, some of us shift to a performance mentality. But the biblical idea is that God takes pleasure in what reflects him, his character and he cannot tolerate sin so it displeases him. The good news is that overcoming sin comes from his resources and trusting his promises to overcome those sins that beset us. So when we pray that we would be pleasing to him we pray first that we would have Christ like character, then we pray for fruitfulness that flows out of abiding (John 15:5). So I pray for my abiding and the spiritual disciplines in my life. Then I pray for the fruit of the fruit of the Spirit in my life (Gal 5:22). Then I pray for righteousness, peace, and joy (Rom 14:17). The power of the Kingdom comes from the Holy Spirit (Mat 12:28) so I pray for the fullness of Spirit (Eph 5:18). Being filled with the Spirit is so important that God commands it. So I pray that God would fill me with his Spirit, make me sensitive to the Spirit, give me an ear for the Spirit. I also pray for power and authority for ministry (Luk 10:1-2). And then I also pray that God would fulfill his purposes in my life (Eph. 2:10).
The next circle is family. If you are married, pray for your spouse and then your children. I pray the same things for Karen that I pray for myself. Then I pray for our marriage, her parenting, and that she would be honored and respected in the home. Then I pray for the kids. I pray that they become secure in their identity in Christ; that they pursue Christ above all else; for their sense of destiny and purpose; then their character; and then any special issues they have or concerns that I have.
The next circle is to pray for the church. A large part of my motivation for this series grew out of the elders’ desire that we as a body pray for our church. Our future, what God does, to a great degree, depends on how faithful we are praying for our church. If you look at Acts, the significant shifts in ministry expansion in the church are connected with the church praying, and most times praying corporately. Prayer is central to Gods plans and purposes. Mike Bickle of IHOP, in a magazine article made the following perceptive observations. Human history is started with a prayer meeting when Adam and Eve walked with God (Gen 3:8); the nation of Israel began in a prayer meeting at Mount Sinai when they were called to become a kingdom of Priests (Ex. 19:6-20); Jesus began his ministry with a prayer meeting in the Wilderness (Mat 4) and ended his ministry with a prayer meeting in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mat 26); and the church began with a prayer meeting in Acts 1 and 2. As you can see, every significant event in the history of Gods people involved prayer. Prayer is central to Gods plans and purposes. Praying for Gods intervention for our body impacts the outcome of what we are doing everyday. Let’s look at a couple of examples in Scripture (Acts 1:14, 2:1; 4:29-31; 13:2-3; Romans 15:30-31, Acts 22-28, 24:17).