October 24, 2018 | by: 0 Comments|
Brothers & Sisters,
Are there certain things we should prioritize in our prayer lives? In other words, are there things that we should pray about first? Can I confess something to you? I’ve been at the top of my prayer list for a long time. In other words, I’ve been praying for my soul first.
Recently, I’ve been challenged to reconsider my prayer priorities. In his little book on prayer, John Onwuchekwa makes a few provocative observations about the Lord’s Prayer that have helped me to rethink things a little. He writes:
In the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:19-13), Jesus helps us understand where our requests should begin. After establishing that God is our Father who is as compassionate as he is capable, Jesus reminds us that God’s power aims to advance his agenda, not ours. Jesus shows us that Christian prayer begins with longing for God’s presence before his provision.
All of the requests at the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer are Godward. Take a look:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:9-10).
This removes man from the center of the picture. It displaces our needs and desires, reminding us that the most important things about prayer are not what God gives us by way of his possessions, but what God gives by way of his presence. Throughout the Bible, the people who gain peace and security in this life are the people who long for God’s presence more than his possessions.
[John Onwuchekwa, Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018), 45-46.]
I think that John makes a pretty persuasive case. I also think that I need to put three new petitions at the top of my prayer list—the adoration of God, the advancement of his kingdom, and the accomplishment of his will. Who and what is at the top of your prayer list?
Warmly in Christ,
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