Childlike Prayer; Day 4

God can do more in a moment than we can do in a lifetime! The Bible is filled with examples of God’s stunning strength. He creates everything out of nothing (Genesis 1). He splits the Red Sea, creating a path for the Israelite slaves to walk through on dry land (Exodus 14). He shut the mouths of lions so that Daniel could spend the night with them without one tooth mark on his skin (Daniel 6). He enabled Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to walk around in a massive fire without being harmed (Daniel 3). He brought Lazarus back from the dead (John 11). He made a way for Peter to walk out of a prison the night before he was supposed to be executed (Acts 12). God cannot be stopped.

But Jesus doesn’t just want us to be aware of God’s great power, he wants us to ask him to use his power to help us with our plans. He intends for us to be prayerfully productive. When we are prayerfully productive, we are simply acting as my kids did in the front yard that day where they asked for parental help with their tasks. “God, will you come help me with my work?” God’s children pray their plans.

That’s one of the things Jesus is trying to help us see when he tells us to pray that our heavenly Father’s “kingdom come, his will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Part of praying this way means praying our Bibles. But it also means we pray our plans. The assumption underneath this prayer is that God’s children are seeking “first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33) in all that they do. That is, wherever they are, their plans are meant to advance God’s purposes.

For God’s children, every day is a “family workday.” No matter what you do, you have work that God wants to help you with. We can miss this aspect of Jesus’ teaching on prayer because we have a secular view of the sacred. We have a small view of the kingdom and, therefore, of God’s kingdom purposes. Many of us think that God wants us to ask him for help for “spiritual” things like going to church and reading our Bibles. And God does want us to ask him to help us do those things. But he also wants to help with every area our lives. The apostle Paul points to God’s concern for every area of life in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

“Whatever you do…” Paul says. That means God cares about everything you are doing today. Changing a kid’s diapers? Have an important presentation? Trying to increase revenue? Working on email? Planning a vacation? The Bible says God cares about all of that. He wants us to glorify him in how we do that. The word “glorify” points to the same outcome we are asking for when we ask “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

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