In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells us not to worry about the practical needs of life, instead he says, 'seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.' Matthew 6:33. Jesus doesn't say that these things are to be completely ignored as some Eastern religions do, just that they should be put in their place. What does this have to do with prayer? The thing is we all pray for things that are on our hearts. Kingdom prayer is simply praying for what is on God's heart.
This is how Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord's Prayer. The first half of the prayer is focused on who God is, how we respond to him and (if I can put it this way) his needs. The second half is focused on us and our spiritual and physical needs. It is finished with a doxology which brings the focus of our prayer back onto God once more.
The problem is this can seem rather abstract, but how should this affect our prayers in a practical way. If we look in the Bible we are given commands which we can only fulfil through both prayer and action. We also see examples of people praying for Kingdom matters and see God answering those prayers. Here are a few examples:
Jesus commanded his disciples to make disciples of all nations in the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:16-20).
Jesus commanded the disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they had been baptised with the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:4-5).
The disciples prayed for boldness to share the gospel and for healings, signs and wonders when they were persecuted and God answered them (see Acts 4:29-31).
Habakkuk prayed for revival, for God to show mercy to a nation that deserved only his wrath (Habakkuk 3:2).
Praying for the Kingdom can involve large scale strategic prayer, but don't worry if that intimidates you, just broaden your prayer beyond yourself, your family, friends and your church.
Here are a few ways you can pray for the God's Kingdom to come on earth as in heaven from the above Scriptures:
If you are praying for someone to become a Christian then pray the same for all their household. Pray for the evangelistic witness of all the churches in your area. Pray for unreached people groups who have never heard the gospel. Pray for discipleship in your church for everyone to grow in their faith in Jesus.
If the disciples needed to be baptised in, and continually filled with, the Holy Spirit so do we. Ask Jesus to baptise you in the Holy Spirit if you haven't been and keep asking until he does, which he will. If you have been baptised in the Holy Spirit, ask him to keep filling you so you overflow with his love, grace and truth.
Ask God to give you and other church members boldness to share the gospel and for God to confirm his word with healings, signs and wonders. Pray the same for Christians persecuted for their faith elsewhere in the world. Pray for God to strengthen Christians in prison for their faith.
Pray for revival in the UK, if you don't feel you have the faith to ask God to move in revival power then pray 'Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.' Mark 9:24, and God will help your faith to grow. Ask God to show you his heart for the person you find most difficult, they may deserve God's wrath (as you did once too) but ask God to show his mercy in their life and also ask him to change your own attitude to them.
If praying this way is new to you then try it, and ask God to help you to see his Kingdom and pray for it more. If you are already praying in this way, then ask God to show you more of what is on his heart and to grow your faith to pray for greater things. As you pray more for God's Kingdom to come here on earth you will find that you will not need to ask for the other things so much as you worry less, and know God's provision to a greater extent. Most of all don't forget to worship God for who he is, and to
thank him for answers to prayer whether they are Kingdom requests or personal requests.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.' Matthew 6:13.
Theresa Grant (@theresagrant3)