Prayer: Christ's Model for Believers

4 - Is the Father's Kingdom Your Priority in Prayer?

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
How can we ever justify seeking to advance the kingdom of our own self-will when Jesus himself submitted to the Father's kingdom priorities?

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Part four of an nine-part series. Read part three.

How can we ever justify seeking to advance the kingdom of our own self-will when Jesus himself submitted to the Father's kingdom priorities?

In our study of Jesus' model prayer of Matthew chapter six, we next come to the phrase, "Thy kingdom come." Let me suggest that an appropriate theme or key-word for this phrase of the prayer is priority.

"Let Come Thy Kingdom"

Literally, the phrase here is, "let come Thy kingdom." As we come before God in prayer, our attitude should be that His kingdom, His will, His plan, His eternal purposes, have the priority and the preeminence in our living and thinking.

For the kingdom is the Lord's, and He rules over the nations. (Psalm 22:28)

For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with understanding. (Psalm 47:7)

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children's children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them. The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. (Psalm 103:17-19)

All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, and Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk of Your power, to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. (Psalm 145:10-18)

Jesus' Own Submission to the Father's Priorities

Jesus himself expressed this attitude while He was on earth in human form. "I have come down from heaven," He said, "not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38). That extended even to hanging on the cross and experiencing the outpouring of the cup of God the Father's wrath upon Himself for our sins. Jesus said to the Father, "nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done" (Luke 22:42). Jesus knew it was the Father's plan to give Him a kingdom. It is also the Father's pleasure to give us the kingdom:

Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:29-30)

The saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. (Daniel 7:18)

Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him. (Daniel 7:27)

The Believer's Great Reward

If Jesus submitted to the Father's will and endured what He did "for the joy that was set before Him," how can we do any less than say with all our hearts, "Thy kingdom come," knowing the joy that awaits us?

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame." Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone," and "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense." They stumble, being disobedient to the Word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:5-9)

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:4-6)

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth." (Revelation 5:8-10)

David's Great Prayer

King David, the great forerunner of Christ, expressed the same submission to the Lord who is King over all, when he presented the offerings that had been given for the building of the temple:

Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: "Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

"Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You. For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; our days on earth are as a shadow, and without hope." (1 Chronicles 29:10-15)

How Can We Do Anything Else?

In view of these things, how can we ever justify seeking to advance the kingdom of our own self-will as we travel as pilgrims in this cursed and crumbling world? The Father's kingdom must be our priority for this life, as it will be in the life to come.

Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33)

Next: Do You Pray in Submission to the Father's Will?


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