Did you know that the Bible tells us to pray for God?
Yes, it’s true! While we know that God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, the gospel of Matthew tells us that God works out His will on earth through our prayers. For instance, in the beginning of the books of Acts, though God’s will was to send forth the promise of His Spirit (Luke 24:49), He waited for one hundred and twenty believers in the upper room to pray for ten days before He allowed the Holy Spirit to descend upon them (Acts 1:15; 2:1-2). Though God wanted to move, He needed men to pray first. Likewise, in order for God to move on earth today, we need to develop our prayer lives and learn to first pray for God’s will to be done on earth.
You might be asking, what can we pray to fulfill God’s will? Matthew 6:9-10 reveals this to us:
“You then pray in this way; Our Father who is in the heavens, Your name be sanctified. Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth.”
These verses present to us three specific desires of God and how we can cooperate with God’s desires in and through our prayer.
Firstly, we need to pray that God’s name would be sanctified on earth. I appreciate that His name is already sanctified in the heavens, however, popular culture does not sanctify His name on earth. For example, it is very possible that the last time you heard God’s name used in our fallen culture it was used with a negative connotation rather than a positive one. I’m thankful for this word in Matthew 6:9 to guide us in praising His name! This past Sunday Fellowship, we had the opportunity to praise Him by singing a hymn that declared “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent / Thy name in all the earth!” This is a beautiful hymn that reminds us to declare the excellency of His name on this earth today!
Secondly, we need to pray that God’s kingdom would come. When we refer to the Lord’s kingdom we denote the kingdom of the heavens. However, God is not satisfied with His heavenly rule to be restricted in the heavens. The earth is the kingdom of Satan for the time being. However, God desires to increase His kingdom on this earth and decrease Satan’s kingdom at the same time. As we pray, the kingdom of Satan is being decreased and God’s kingdom comes more to this earth. We see this clearly in Matthew 12:28:
“But if I, by the Spirit of God, cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
This verse correlates casting out demons with the coming of the kingdom of God. Thus we are praying a prayer of warfare against Satan’s kingdom, as God’s kingdom takes over.
Thirdly, we need to pray for God’s will to be done, “as in heaven, so also on earth” (Matt. 6:10). I was so touched that we aren’t to repeat this utterance robotically, but this prayer needs to become a part of our lives. As we mentioned above, God is all powerful, but if we do not pray, God is restricted in carrying out His will on earth as He pleases. God needs His saints to pray in order for His will to not be restricted on earth. There are many instances in the Bible where God will not carry out His will until His people on earth pray first. Therefore, it is critical for God’s people to pray according to His will so that God’s ultimate move can be carried out on earth.
Now that we know the three desires of God that we are to pray for, let’s apply this message to our daily lives by including His will in our prayers. While we are to pray for our necessities in life, we must be sure to primarily pray for God’s name to be sanctified, His kingdom to come and for His will to be done. Amen!
-JJ, 2nd year, Biochemistry