Kingdom Prayer. Learning to Talk to God: Week 6
Observing the Stuff!
is an important discipline for the believer. It is important to see Prayer in
the context of the Kingdom of God. There are times to pray and there is a model
of prayer which the Gospel writers provide for us. First, we will look at the
model of when to pray and then the model of how we should pray.
Interpreting the Stuff!
A Model for
When to Pray (Luke's Gospel)
Jesus found prayer a necessity. It was
a meaningful part of his ministry. Luke recorded ten occasions when Jesus
prayed. Seven of these passages do not record the prayers. In addition to these
ten times, Luke recorded two parables that only appear in his Gospel which are
The prayers in the life of Jesus are all associated with important events in
the ministry of Jesus.
Luke shows Jesus praying on the following ten occasions. We
might find in this list some times to pray that we have not thought of before.
They are: at his baptism
after a day of ministry
before choosing the disciples
at the transfiguration
on the return of the seventy-two
before teaching the disciples how to pray
for Peter and the disciples
at the point of suffering
and on the cross
From the beginning to the close of the ministry of Jesus, from
his baptism to the cross, prayer was a central part of the life of Jesus. I
believe that it is true that each of us can improve in our communication with
God. We can learn to pray in the power of the Kingdom just like Jesus
The Lord's Prayer
Remember, the basic background of the teaching of Jesus is that
of the invasion of God's rule into the kingdom of Satan. This provides an
adequate key for understanding what Jesus is teaching.
Jesus taught his disciples about acts of righteousness and the
place they should be accomplished
1-4). The place for doing acts of righteousness is in secret, not in
public. The pattern for prayer is the same. Jesus said, Do not be like the
play actors when you pray...this is how you should pray... (vv.
5-9). The address is not a put down of prayer, but a put down of the
showboating style of prayer which would call attention to the one praying!
There are two sets of petitions in what is often called the
Lord's Prayer. Actually, it is a model for the disciples to use in their
prayers. The first set, petitions one and two, are concerned with the
establishment of God's purpose on a cosmic scale. The second set, composed of
the last three petitions, regards the personal needs of the disciples. All five
petitions are imperatives. Remember, the basic background of the teaching of
Jesus is that of the invasion of God's rule into the kingdom of Satan. This
provides an adequate key for understanding what Jesus is teaching.
Let your name be hallowed
petition is the hallowing of God's name, which means not only reverence and
honor given to God, but also to glorify him by obeying his commands. We can
speak to God about allowing us to act in such a manner that his reputation is
Let your kingdom come, your will be
The second petition is that God's Kingdom would come and
be practiced on earth as it is in heaven. At some point in past time, Satan was
cast out of heaven along with a host of beings. The war, which arose in heaven,
had been cast down to earth. Jesus was teaching his disciples and us to ask the
Father: "Just as you have expelled Satan from heaven, establishing your rule
there, that you continue to bring about that same rule on earth." Everything
was now all right in heaven. Satan was cast outnow he is to be pursued on
earth. Pray for God's Rule in our life, work, children, family, recreation.
Give us today the bread of tomorrow
third petition comes in verse 11. Give us today our daily bread... This
unfortunately is an inadequate translation. It could better read, ...Give us
today the bread of tomorrow.... Hunger is a work of Satan. Jesus took the work
of Satan seriously. He requested the Father to bring to his people today some
of the abundance of God's rule from tomorrow. We can pray for the specifics
which we need in our lives. We can pray for spiritual, emotional, physical,
financial and social needs.
Forgive us our sins
petition is ...forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors.
This is a prayer for the forgiveness of sins. This petition has a condition
attached to it.
6.14-15 makes this petition clear. These verses do not mean that our
forgiveness of others earns us the right to be forgiven. They mean that God
forgives only the penitent, and one of the chief evidences of penitence is a
forgiving spirit. This is the arena to pray for forgiveness of our sins.
Do not let us succumb to the attack of the evil one.
The fifth petition is ...And lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil. Here again a better translation could be: Do not let
us succumb to the attack of the evil one, but deliver us from the evil one and
his attacks. Jesus was giving instruction to his disciples on how to pray when
Satan comes to attack. Satan was surely going to attack them in their ministry.
Stand against the attack of the evil one.
The entire prayer of Jesus is based on his conviction that this
present world is under the control of the evil one. The praying of the
disciples in this fashion was one more tool in their arsenal.
Praying in the Spirit
One more piece of
armament that believers have is prayer. A part of one's prayer life can be
praying in the Spirit or praying in tongues. To pray in tongues is foreign to
many people. Speaking in tongues has received a lot of bad press and much
abuse. However, throwing out the baby with the bath wash is never a suitable
alternative to abuse. I believe that every believer has the right to speak in
tongues as part of his Christian experience. There are may fillings in the
Spirit, one of them may have the manifestation of tongues. Those who have been
taught that this is no longer available today and use passages like Do all
speak in tongues? as a way of saying that even if it was for today, not all
could do it, have missed the meaning of the passage quoted from 1 Corinthians.
This passage, at the conclusion of Chapter 12
is in the middle of a longer contextual passage about When the Church comes
together. The answer to the question Do all speak in tongues? is No! All
do not speak in tongues. The context, however, provides us the answer where
this No! is given. It is when the Church comes together. When the church comes
together, if everyone spoke in tongues it would be mass confusion. So Paul says
that when the Church does come together that all do not speak in tongues. He is
not speaking to the issue of all being qualified to speak in tongues by virtue
of being a believer, only that all should not speak in tongues when the Church
Think About It!
If you are a
non-Charismatic believer, reflect on the information above. Ask God to cut
through all the abusive things that you may have been taught about tongues.
Risk asking him for the language of his choice to come through you. Remember,
if you ask him for something good, he will not give you something evil.
If you are a Charismatic believer who has spoken in tongues,
reflect on the perception that you may feel somewhat superior because of this
operation of the Spirit in your life. Pray and ask God to help you put tongues
in its rightful theological place.
During our stay between the already and yet-to-come Kingdom of
God, there will be occasions that God calls us to attack the lines of the
enemy. When we do, we can be assured that there will be some counterattack. On
both occasions God has given us armament to guard ourselves and advance his
Doin' the Stuff!
It is always important
to apply what you have learned. Pause at this point and ask for the help of the
Holy Spirit to meditate on and put into practice some or all of the following.
Spend a few minutes with God and do not ask for anything.
Give him verbal honor and reverence.
Make a list of items in your day-to-day life that you need
the rule of God to invade, so that in those areas his will is done just like it
is in heaven.
List the needs that you have in the areas to the left and
then pray and ask God to give you some of his future blessing now.
Ask God to forgive you of all the specific sins you can
Pray that God will help you with his Kingdom rule to
stand strong against the attacks of the enemy in your church life.
BibleHandbook: Resource Stuff
Read the following Dictionary Articles from Easton's Bible
Dictionary. Easton's is about a century old, therefore, some of the
information is not current with newer Bible Dictionaries. You might read the
articles off-line in a number of different Bible Dictionaries. If you do not
own a Bible Dictionary, I would recommend New Bible Dictionary 3rd Edition. If
you like lots of color pictures, try
Dictionary. One of these should suit your personal