In this series, we are exploring the pursuit of God’s kingdom and imagining the impact on our lives and our world if we passionately sought after God’s will.
Although the Kingdom of God on earth is not going to be completely fulfilled until Christ returns, we have access now to the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the works of the devil in our lives. We seek His Kingdom until He comes in glory. In the meantime, it is our responsibility and our privilege to be His witnesses on earth.
We have access now to the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the works of the devil in our lives.
So, what if you prayed meaningful, passionate, faith-filled prayers – prayers for God to accomplish things that you can’t do?
This is exactly what Jesus instructed us to do. He told us to pray to move the mountains, to heal people, to do miracles. If Jesus did those things and He prayed all the time to model to us an intimate relationship with the Father, shouldn’t we be praying all the time, too?
Jesus was a man of prayer. He prayed:
- fervent prayers (Hebrews 5:7)
What if you prayed as Jesus prayed –with cries, tears, and passion like you meant every word?
- when He was baptized (Luke 3:21-22)
While Jesus prayed, the heavens were opened up and the glory of heaven shone down. What if we prayed and God’s glory came down from heaven?
Many of us live under circumstances (the whims and decisions of other people, economy, finances, etc.) instead of under the love of God. But God wants to give blessings to His people and for us to find sustainable joy in who He is.
- very early in the morning Matthew 1:35
Jesus rose before daylight to be alone with the Father.
What if every night when you went to bed, you anticipated waking up the next day and having alone time with God to communicate with Him?
- in lonely places (Luke 5:15-16, Matthew 14:23)
- all night (Luke 6:12)
Maybe you won't pray all night (or maybe you will!), but how about 30 minutes? An hour? Practice praying and listening to Him – and be ready with pen and paper to write down what you hear.
- with His disciples (Luke 9:28-29)
Jesus was transfigured before His disciples as He prayed. We should pray that we will be transformed as we spend more and more spend time with God, and seek His transformation with all of our hearts!
- and fasted as He entered into His ministry (Matthew 4)
Fasting is not a magic formula, but it is a way to tell God that we are disconnecting from our dependence on earthly things so that we can solely rely on Him. Prayer is empowered by fasting and humility, but hindered by pride
- to deliver demons from people, heal people from their afflictions, and raise the dead (Mark 7:32-37)
- before He was arrested (Luke 22:39-46)
- during the crucifixion (Luke 23:34)
Jesus prayed for the forgiveness of those who tortured and persecuted Him. Do you have the humility and maturity to pray for your enemies? We all have people that don’t like us or people whom we don’t like. What if you prayed for God to bless those people, and meant it? Pray that God would pour out His love and grace on them and give you love for them as well.
- on the cross at His death (Mark 15:34)
Some further notes on prayer:
- Prayer is God’s created method of two-way communication between our spirit and a God who is a Spirit. Jeremiah 33:3
- Prayer is done with God, not to God. Jeremiah 33:3
- Prayer is finding out what God wants to do and asking Him to do it. John 5:19-20
- Prayer is assisted by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26
- We are commanded and encouraged to pray. 1 Thessalonians 17
- Prayer doesn’t change God’s purposes, but His actions. James 4:3
- Prayer responses make prayer real. John 10:37, John 11:40-42
- We must pray with expectation of answers that are consistent with what we are told to pray for. John 14:12-14
- Answered prayer is, Thy will just got done.
Pastor Miles gave another challenge this week for the acronym AWCIPA. These are five categories of prayer. IT’s not a formula or a magic way that one must pray, but rather a guide to focused and powerful prayer. Imagine if you prayed each letter for 5 minutes – that would be 30 minutes of prayer! Regardless of how long you spend on each letter, take your time and listen to God’s voice.
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Matthew 6:9
A: Admiration and Praise; or Appreciate with praise.
Give honor to the King of the Kingdom. Psalm 9:1
Lord, I praise You for _____.
I thank you for _____.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it in heaven. Matthew 6:10
W: Ask for Thy Will to be done.
Pray to know the Kingdom agenda. Matthew 26
Lord may thy Will be done in _____ (my relationships, career, health...)
Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11
C: Pray for Communion with God.
Pray for Kingdom food. Psalm 51:10-11 Psalm 16:11
Dear God, please bless me with your presence and the spiritual _____ (strength, wisdom, vision, faith) to faithfully obey you today.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, Matthew 6:12
I: Intercede for other people.
Pray to have Kingdom of God relationships. Matthew 5:44
God, please cleanse my heart of _____. Lord, please cleanse my heart of bitterness, anger, jealousy toward _____.
Lord please draw _____ (friends and enemies) close to you.
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. Matthew6:13a
P: Petition for power.
Pray to exercise Kingdom of God power. Ephesians 6:10-13, 1 Corinthians 10:13
Lord please grant me the power and authority to _____ (overcome sin or temptation, heal someone, exercise courage and faith).
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Matthew 6:13b
A: Admiration and Praise; or Appreciate with praise.
Pray for the eternal glory of the King. Psalm 119:164
Lord, I praise and give You glory for _____.