Perhaps you were listening to the news this last week when the NIU shootings happened. I live in northern Illinois, and we have connections to NIU... and as parents of a college student, I can only begin to start to imagine what happens in the mind of a parent during a tragedy of that magnitude. So when someone, meaning well, says "You're in my thoughts," I appreciate the sentiment but it doesn't really do much to meet the need.
If, on the other hand, though, someone says "I'm praying for you," consider the audacity of that statement: They are saying that they have access to the God of the Universe, that they are daring to enter His presence and are speaking to Him (the author of time, space and the keeper of all eternity, the judge of the entire world, the one with whom ALL must ultimately deal) about this very circumstance! WOW! If it really is that (and I understand that it is EXACTLY that), prayer is a HUGE deal and an INCREDIBLE privilege.
In this "Model Prayer" Murray has pointed out - so far - that it isn't just that all powerful deity that invites us into conversation... He is our Father, and we are loved as dearly loved children if we've been adopted into His family. Oh, and just in case the "familial relationship" leads one of His children to an inappropriate familiarity, we are reminded that Our Father is Holy and that His Glory is to be our Primary priority.
He is Our Father, so we can approach Him. Who could have more access to someone than their child? We are family, so we can draw near.
He is Holy - it is His Name and Character - so we understand Him as He really is. This One we pray to isn't a god of our imagination... we must come to Him as He is. And He is Awesome! But when we pray, do we share our Father's agenda, or are we just all about what we want from Him?
Here's the question for today: Does God's agenda grip you? When was the last time you prayed from God's perspective? That's the subject of today's portion of the lesson. (By the way, this is the shortest of the sections, but if you think about it, perhaps the most challenging. Consider what life would be like when God answers this request - Hey, that's a great place for a comment, so weigh in!)
"‘Thy kingdom come.’ The Father is a King and has a kingdom. The son and heir of a king has no higher ambition than the glory of his father’s kingdom.
In time of war or danger this becomes his passion; he can think of nothing else. The children of the Father are here in the enemy’s territory, where the kingdom, which is in heaven, is not yet fully manifested. What more natural than that, when they learn to hallow the Father-name, they should long and cry with deep enthusiasm: ‘Thy kingdom come.’
The coming of the kingdom is the one great event on which
depends. On our prayers too the coming of the kingdom waits. Shall we not join in the deep longing cry of the redeemed: ‘Thy kingdom come’? Let us learn it in the school of Jesus."
- the revelation of the Father’s glory,
- the blessedness of His children, and
- the salvation of the world