Jesus was no ordinary king. He was the King of all kings, the Lord of all lords. This King did not live in castles separated from common people. He once said that He had no place to lay His head. He was the compassionate King, the suffering King, the King who served His people. He was the King who loved the poor, the lame, the blind, and all of hurting humanity.
He came to establish His kingdom in the hearts of men and women. First He came to the Hebrew people, but they did not recognize Him because they were looking for a king who would drive the Romans out of their land. They wanted a king that could restore Israel by political and military power. But this King was not coming by might, or by power, but in the fullness and the anointing of the Spirit of God. The Jews anticipated the coming King, but when He came many of them denied Him, because they did not understand the nature of the King or His kingdom. They could not conceive that the long-awaited and promised King would be a friend to the bruised and brokenhearted.
Consequently, Jesus brought His kingdom to the common, simple people who would trust Him. He established His kingdom within the hearts of fishermen and tax collectors. He built His kingdom in the hearts of the needy and the lonely. He identified with hurting people.
Perhaps many in this generation would not recognize Jesus or His kingdom if He were to come today. Many hide behind stained-glass windows and sing about the royalty of Jesus. Yet they have isolated themselves from a hurting world. They recite their prayers, but it has been years since they have wept for the lost. Others only view Jesus as a mystical king. They can pray with great emotion and feeling, yet they find it difficult to reach out to neighbors, family, and friends who are about to enter eternity separated from God. Many who claim to follow Jesus have never prayed for the millions of Hindus in India who worship many different gods. Many have never prayed for the millions that have been taught in communist countries that there is no God.
We need a fresh view of the compassionate King. We need to understand the nature of His kingdom. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.”
Compassionate King, may I have Your heart for the nations, for the poor, the homeless, the lost and the hurting! Open my eyes and move me from my comfort so that I am able to weep for what I see all around me! Give me insight into the needs of my neighbors, whether those who live near me, or all across the world. Shake my ambivalence and fill my heart with Your love for all people! Help me to be faithful in prayer!
Praise God for the example of servanthood given when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (Jn. 13:5-15). Thank Jesus for his promise that you will be blessed in being a servant, following his example (13:17). Confess those times you are quarrelsome and resentful, not wanting to be a servant (2 Tim. 2:24). Commit yourself to God as Samuel did and respond: “Speak, for your servant is listening” (1 Sam. 3:10). Ask God to reveal clearly his assigned task for you, even as he did for Paul (1 Cor. 3:5).
Pray that your church will faithfully learn the joy of servanthood in every area, fixing their eyes on Jesus, not growing weary or losing heart (Heb. 12:2-3).
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.
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