Praying Remember the Big Picture
Often our prayer times are rushed and self-focused. “Bless me,” is about all it boils down to. Even when we pray for others, it is usually for the significant others in our lives with whose well-being we are linked. Please do not think that such requests are not to be part of our prayers for we are to cast every care on Him (1 Pt. 5:7). But is there a bigger way to pray, praying with “the big picture” in mind?
As Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He emphasized that before we bring our personal petitions to the Father, we must pray for the advancement of God’s kingdom (Mt. 6:5-13). The kingdom is here and now, though not in its fullness. The kingdom appears in every heart where Jesus rules. There are not yet enough hearts under Jesus’ rule and some days, our own hearts are not fully under His Lordship.
As small groups pray together, group leaders can help group members learn to pray the big picture of the kingdom. We can pray in many ways that the kingdom will come into the lives of those around us:
- Pray that God will identify sins in their lives and bring about repentance.
- Pray that they will grow in faith, submitting their lives to Jesus Christ.
- Pray that each will become aware of the closeness and quality of his or her walk with God.
- Pray that each will develop a kingdom-focus in his or her life.
- Pray that each will devote their resources and energies to kingdom work.
- Pray that each will love and follow the King.
- Pray that each will become aware of the lost around them.
- Pray that each will hunger for others near and far to enter the kingdom.
- Pray that their lives will allow others to see the Kingdom.
We can pray with confidence about “the big picture” because when we pray that God’s will be done, God always answers, “Yes!”
Scripture: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10 ESV).” How are you praying for God’s Kingdom to become a greater reality here on earth?
Dig Deeper: Read Seeing the Unseen by T. W. Hunt (NAV Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-1-61521-581-2). An e-book version is available.
Question: How do you pray for your small group, your church, and your neighbors? What kinds of requests to you ask of the Lord?
Walter H. Norvell is a resident fellow with B.H. Carroll Theological Institute and serves on the faculty of Williams Baptist College in the Department of Christian Ministries. He blogs The 1-Minute Sunday School Trainer at www.WalterNorvell.com.