Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)
Even as a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17), our “natural man” spirit (sin nature) fights against any prayer practice—much less allowing a habit to form—that would seek to put our own prayer agenda in a secondary and submissive posture to anyone else’s, even God’s!
However, as we grow in our Christian walk with the Lord, we begin to note the prayer priorities of not only Jesus, but also men like Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Elijah, Paul, James, Peter, and John; and women like Hannah, Esther, Ruth and Mary. Time and time again each of these individuals put the agenda and will of God at the top of their prayer list. Unashamedly and unhesitatingly they acknowledged that they preferred God’s will for their life more than their own. Additionally, their prayers for others focused much more often on their spiritual rather than physical needs or desires!
The Apostle Paul was totally committed to this “kingdom-minded” prayer habit; opening and closing his nine NT letters to churches in various cities with a “spiritual blessing” prayer. Is there a sweeter or more submissive-to-God’s-will prayer than that of the young woman, Mary, who prayed—when she was told of her Holy Spirit conception—“Behold, the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Lk. 1:38). Is that not the same kingdom-minded prayer commitment Jesus expressed in His final Garden of Gethsemane prayer. Knowing the crucifixion was imminent, He prayed: “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Lk. 22:42).
Lord God, You have blessed me with so many amazing examples of kingdom-minded pray-ers who lived their lives yielded to Your will. Heal me of my selfish desires that would focus upon my own wants and needs rather than Your plans and purposes. Help me to remember to pray with the mind of Christ because my life is now hidden with Him. Not my will but Yours be done!
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 26, Habits of Effective Pray-ers by Dennis Connor). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise the God who supplies all your needs. Give thanks for the many material blessings you enjoy in this life. Confess any dissatisfaction or jealousy you have felt about God’s provision for you. Commit yourself to living a truly thankful life. Ask God to give you today your daily bread (Mt. 6:11).
Pray for those who lack the necessities of life. Ask God to provide for specific needs of which you are aware.