Open prayers to change something in myself, or in another, or for the world, that seems as though it is indeed going to hell in a handbasket, have always scared me, because God does not disappoint.
Practicing Kingdom Praying
Praying for the Kingdom of God can seem overwhelming at first. There are so many issues taking place in our world: wars, famine, orphans, unstable world economies and a new pope being chosen – the world is a big, complicated, scary place and it’s sometimes hard to know where to begin. And since His sovereignty rules over all (Psalm 103:19, NASB) what difference do our prayers for His kingdom even make?
The bigger picture, as the last two days have stressed, is that each of these situations in our world shapes the future here on earth. And though we may not see it, is also a part of God’s sovereign plan for His Kingdom. When we keep our prayers small and self focused, our lives may show the same. Rather, we as believers are anointed to minister to and pray for the hurting in this world.
As Isaiah writes, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” (Isaiah 61:1, NIV)
So bombarded with the “bad” news of the day , we may start to numb our hearts to all the scrolling tickers on our television screens and the headlines in our papers. Rather than turning a blind eye to the world’s issues, we should see these alerts as opportunities to pray. The poor, brokenhearted, captives and prisoners are being set right in front of us. What better opportunity to pray?
With these stories laid fresh on your heart and soul, instead of shaking our heads in worry or clicking our tongues in disgust, let’s bow our heads in prayer. Think about not asking for a “good” outcome, but for the Lord to use this situation for building His Kingdom and changing lives for Christ. Our burden probably isn’t to solve the world’s problems. Our privilege is to seek His wisdom in dealing with these scenarios and tragedies and proclaim His name in triumphing over them.
You may begin to feel God laying something new on your heart as you spend time praying for a circumstance outside your scope. He may guide you to a specific issue, a specific country or a specific person. Be open to this, He may just be marking a path for you to be His hands and feet even beyond your prayers. You may be the one He uses to break through the destruction and despair, and to share the remarkable hope that only Christ can bring.
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15 ESV)
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord ’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
Psalm 103:13-19 NIV
But, I can get into praying this one….
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord ’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:1-3 NIV
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”
Revelation 11:15 NIV
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