A Call to Pray

Kingdom-Centered Prayers

Double Doses of Prayers

[11/11/2003]

 

 

Conventional wisdom says that perhaps we should wait a bit more before we start our prayer meetings. The weather is getting cold, people are busy, we are busy, Alethea has just recovered, and it may be wise to wait for more feedbacks before we get together for prayers...

But biblical wisdom tells us that praying for the advancement of God’s kingdom is always God-glorifying, needful and urgent! There ought to be no delay, and so we will start right away.

In consideration of people’s varying schedules, we will have two (2) regular prayer meetings each week at our house, 816 Tasker Street. The schedules are as follows:

            (1) Every Friday, 6:30pm-8:00pm
                   Starting this Friday (11/14)

            (2) Every Sunday, 2:00pm-3:30pm
                   Starting this Sunday (11/16)

Drop by anytime you want during the above time slots. Join us for 5 mins, join us for 15 mins, join us for an hour... stay for the whole session... talk into the night... even sleep over! What we want to do is to pray (something I haven’t done a lot in my life) and pray the KINGDOM-CENTERED PRAYERS!

Here are a few words from Tim Keller for our preparation, followed by an awesome prayer from the early church in Acts 4. May the Lord be gracious to us all and move us to prayers!

PS   I will email the group if prayer meetings for a particular week are cancelled.

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Tim Keller on Kingdom-Centered Prayers

But what is kingdom-centered prayer? In Luke 11:1-13, we see that is characterized by at least three ingredients:

 

q       Front-Line Content Kingdom-centered prayer prays God’s promises into reality; not to make our lives more comfortable but to show forth his glory in the midst of suffering and the face of opposition. It is not coming to God with a wish-list of random requests, which we throw up into the air, hoping that a few will line up with what God is already locked into doing, and then we can half-heartedly declare: “God answers prayer!” No, instead, kingdom-centered prayer is focusing on God gaining a great reputation for himself by advancing his kingdom on earth through weak people like us who need forgiveness, protection and deliverance (1-4). Kingdom-centered prayer is front-line, not maintenance prayer.

 

q       Humility and Boldness: Kingdom-centered prayer is marked by humility and boldness because we recognize a) the desperate urgency of our need arising out of a God-given responsibility for which we have absolutely no resources to fulfill (5-6); and b) the absolute certainty that God will give us what we need because he is our “Midnight Friend” (7-10) and “Heavenly Father” (2, 11-13). Urgency
of need without certainty of answer leads to despair. Certainty of answer without urgency of need leads to presumption. But bring need and certainty together and there is prayer marked by profound humility and boldness.

q       The Presence of God The most significant characteristic of kingdom-centered prayer is that the King is there. Our God-given responsibility can only be fulfilled through the gift of the Holy Spirit. He is our “daily (needful) bread” (3); apart from him, like the man in the parable, “I have nothing” (6). But our “Midnight Friend” has all the bread we need; he will give us as much as we need (8). Our
“Heavenly Father” is eager to give good gifts to his children even the gift of “the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (13). Kingdom-centered prayer is marked by the presence of God dwelling and working in the midst of his people. People come expectant. And they are not disappointed, for God has promised to answer kingdom-centered prayer.

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A Biblical Example of Kingdom-Centered Prayers

Kingdom-centered prayer means to be centered on the kingdom, not me. In Acts 4:23-31, the disciples asked God for help, but not with their careers, health or material possessions (or even physical protection). They asked the Lord to “enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness” amidst of suffering and persecution. They had a passion for the Kingdom.

On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God.

‘Sovereign Lord,’ they said, ‘you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of
your servant, our father David: “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together
against the Lord and against his Anointed One.” Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

 

 

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