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A Praying Life, Chapter 17


Chapter 17: "What We Don't Ask For: Your Kingdom Come" | Week of July 1, 2018

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” – Mark 1:15

REFLECT:

Paul Miller begins chapter 17 of A Praying Life with the following statement: "Christians have done some confusing things with 'your kingdom come' that keep the rule of Jesus at a distance." (Page 131) He then lists some: not praying for change in others because we fear it's controlling; not praying for change in us because we fear it will actually happen; not praying for change in the world because we fear its hopeless. None of these attitudes recognize that the kingdom has already come into the world through Jesus.

Whether praying for change in others or change in us, we must recognize that "We can't do battle with evil without letting  God destroy the evil in us as well." (Page 133) That's scary, but it also presents us with the same option Pastor Walt preached this past Sunday on Luke 7:36-50. Are we going to refuse to see how deeply in debt we are, or will we recognize it and yearn for something new?

Praying for God's kingdom to come starts with recognizing our own kingdom must be cast aside. It requires us to see Jesus as our only hope, and trust he will bring his kingdom. "Prayer is deeply personal and deeply mysterious. Adults try to figure out causation. Little children don't. They just ask." (Page 136) 

RESPOND:

Begin with the grace Jesus extended to you: "A thankful heart is constantly extending grace because it has received grace. Love and grace are uneven. God poured out on his own Son the criticism I deserve. Now he invites me to pour out undeserving grace on someone who has hurt me. Grace begets grace." (Page 134)

Another way to say that is: “'Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.'” And Jesus said to her, 'Your sins are forgiven.'” (Luke 7:47–48) 

PRAY NOW:

Bring the relationship that most needs fixing to God. If there's something that needs to change in the other person, ask for God's kingdom to come. If there's grace you need to extend that person, even if they have not changed, ask for God's kingdom to come. If you recognize evil that needs to be rooted out of your own heart, knowing that Jesus forgives much, ask for God's kingdom to come. Be bold. Ask God for his kingdom to come. 

PRAY LATER:

Although we celebrate Independence Day this Wednesday, and are grateful for the freedoms our country gives us, as Christians we must recognize that we are wholly dependent on God's grace. This holiday week, pray with gratitude that the grace of the gospel sets us free from sin and death, making us free to serve Jesus. “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)    

PRAY AS A FAMILY:

Talk to your kids about praying for God's kingdom to come. Ask them the things they think Jesus makes a priority as the good king who loves us. Pray those that those Jesus priorities would be part of your lives in his kingdom as a family this week.

Tags : prayer, devotional