Spirit & Truth # 186 “Teach Us to Pray: Thy Kingdom, Thy Will” By Rev. Greg Smith
A.C. Dixon wrote: “When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; when we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do, and so on. Nor am I disposed to undervalue any of these things in their proper place, but when we rely upon prayer, we get what God can do.”
As they followed their mission, Jesus’ disciples needed what God could do. That’s why they asked him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Giving them The Lord’s Prayer as a guide, He taught them to begin their prayer time with praise—“Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.” Always begin and end your prayer time with prayer. It invites God’s presence and helps you abide in Him even after your prayer time is over. Next, Jesus teaches His disciples them to seek His kingdom and His will for their lives. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
In other words, we pray for God’s kingdom to come in our hearts, and for His will to be done in our lives as perfectly as the angels perform His will in Heaven. After you’ve begun your prayer time with praise, spend a while seeking God’s direction and will for your life. You could do this in a time of quiet listening, or by talking with the Lord about your understanding of His plans. You can focus on God’s kingdom and will by prayerfully reading Scripture, receiving God’s word that’s intended directly for you.
Our Daily Bread says, “In Ivan endures all the horrors of a Soviet prison camp. One day he is praying with his eyes closed when a fellow prisoner notices him and says with ridicule, ‘Prayers won't help you get out of here any faster.’ Opening his eyes, Ivan answers, ‘I do not pray to get out of prison but to do the will of God.’”
In Gethsemane, Jesus prayed about His impending crucifixion: “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." When we get to the point where we’re praying God’s will, then we know we’re praying the right way. It’s easy to pray for the things that we want. It’s quite another thing to pray God’s will.
E. Stanley Jones says, “Prayer is surrender—surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw out a boathook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God.”
When you pray, rather than asserting control over your own life, and asking for your will to be done, try seeking God’s kingdom and God’s will. Whey you pray God’s way you’ll find your prayers answered more, because you’ll be asking for what God wants in your life.