Living In The Kingdom 5 - Prayers Of The Kingdom
The Kingdom of God is a place of prayer where we can come to the Throne of Grace in time of need:
1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (15) And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.
Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The Lord’s Instructions On Prayer
Matthew 6:5-14 "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. (6) But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (7) "And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. (8) Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Discussion: What are some of the key differences between holy prayer and hypocritical prayer?
(9) Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. (10) Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread, (12) and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
is the Lord’s Prayer different from the prayers of the hypocrites in:
a) form and style ?
b) content and focus?
c) praying the will of the Father?
(14) For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, (15) but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Discussion: Why is forgiveness essential to answered prayer?
The Unrighteous Judge
Luke 18:1-8 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. (2) He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. (3) And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, 'Give me justice against my adversary.' (4) For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God nor respect man, (5) yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'" (6) And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. (7) And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? (8) I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
Discussion: How is God different from the unrighteous judge? How can Christians pray for justice?
The High Priestly Prayer
John 17:1-26 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, (2) since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. (3) And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (4) I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. (5) And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
Discussion: How is Jesus “praying the will of the Father” here? In what manner is Jesus addressing His Father?
(6) "I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. (7) Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. (8) For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. (9) I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. (10) All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
Discussion: What is Jesus saying to the Father about His disciples? What kind of praying is this?
(11) And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. (12) While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. (13) But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. (14) I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. (15) I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. (16) They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. (17) Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. (18) As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
Discussion: What does Jesus pray for His disciples while they are “in the world”? How does this apply to us?
(19) And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. (20) "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, (21) that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
Discussion: How is Jesus praying for the wider Church?
(22) The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, (23) I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (24) Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. (25) O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. (26) I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."
Discussion: What amazing benefits and blessings
is Jesus asking for those who believe?
Paul’s Prayer For The Ephesians
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
(15) from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
(16) that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
(17) so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
(18) may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
(19) and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
(20) Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, (21) to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Discussion: a) How is Paul praying
the will of the Father?
b) What are the blessings that Paul desires for the Ephesian Christians (and all Christians)?
Most church prayers are for sick people, finances, exams, marriages and other crisis events in the life of the people, church or nation. And yes, James does encourage us to pray for the sick, and crisis prayer has always been part of church life (e.g. the arrest of the apostle Peter).
how is this “crisis prayer”, TOTALLY DIFFERENT from the type of Kingdom Prayer
we see in these four examples above (Lord’s Prayer, Justice Prayer, High
Priestly Prayer, Ephesians Prayer)?
2. Do you think that if we prayed more “Kingdom
prayers” we might require less “crisis prayers”?
3. How can churches pray for Kingdom issues such
as missions, church unity and spiritual growth?
4. How could your prayer life change?