‘God please help me. I need a financial blessing. Please help me get a better job with good benefits. I ask your intervention in this situation in my neighborhood. I need encouragement and direction. I need healing in my body. God bless my family. Help me be a witness.’
How about this one?
‘God I ask you to open doors for the Gospel to be spread all over the world. I ask you for a mighty outpouring of your Spirit on all flesh. I ask that doors open in countries with no established works. I ask that you send laborers forth to the fields which are ripe for harvest. I pray for a spirit of giving on your people to finance the sending of missionaries. Let there be victory over Satan’s kingdom. Break yokes of bondage that have people bound. Reveal Yourself in a mighty way to those of other religions. Let the powers of darkness be overcome by Your light.’
Which of these prayers do you identify with most?
The Bible says in Matthew 6:33 to ‘seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Another translation says, “Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.’ (NLT)
Could it be that we have it backwards when we pray for our needs first? Could it be that we pray the wrong prayers to get our needs met? What would happen if we prayed kingdom prayers first? Would we not begin to line up with the Scriptural example?
While it is not necessarily wrong to pray for our needs, the problem comes in when we put our needs and desires first and leave God’s purpose until the last.
Have you ever thought about what might happen if our prayers were answered the instant we asked them? My guess is that many people would be healed and blessed, and financial problems would go away, and we’d all like our jobs, and so on. But what impact on the kingdom of God would there be?
The way I see it, God is basically saying “If you will handle my business before yours… then I will bless yours.” God wants to be first in all areas of our lives – including our prayers.
You see ‘Kingdom Praying’ isn’t about our needs; it is about being concerned about those things which matter for eternity. It is being concerned about the things that God is concerned about. When we make these things priority in our lives, then we are opening the door wide open for God to bless us and meet our needs.
How do we do this? We begin by asking God to show us his will (which can be found in His Word) and we begin to pray it. We pray for the family of God all over the world instead of just our family and local congregations. We pray for the deliverance, healing and salvation of lost people throughout the world. We pray for the Spirit of God to bring understanding to the unsaved. We pray for unity in the body of Christ world wide.
Our prayers will carry the greatest power and have the greatest impact if we get our priorities right. It is time to enlarge our vision. It is time to lose our tunnel vision and see the big picture.
Do your prayers show how concerned you are for the Kingdom? If not, start today putting the things of God first. From this day forward, I promise there will be a difference in your life. The principle works, when you handle God’s business first, God is going to take care of you. You can count on it because you’ve got it in writing.
Lisa Marshall is the World Network of Prayer Strategic Prayer Coordinator