October 25, 2010

Seeking the Kingdom: Some Thoughts on Prayer

In my reading over the last few days, I made a couple connections I hadn't noticed before.

Many people I know who pray tend to focus on the physical, asking for healing and for the money needed to do this or that. And that's fine. It's something that Jesus actually encourages when he says, "Ask and it will be given to you."

But Jesus also encourages us to go a bit deeper. "And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after these things, and your Father knows that you need him. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."

I find it interesting how little I hear people talking about wanting to "seek his kingdom" and how often I hear people talking about wanting to expand their own kingdom when it comes to prayer. But I don't know that's what Jesus is talking about when he's saying "ask and it will be given to you", especially when he says, "those things" will be given to you as well . . . when you seek his kingdom.

Jesus also says that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can ask a tree to move and it will. Often, I hear that verse applied to, again, physical things. Rarely do I hear it applied to internal matters. To the "seek first his kingdom" type things.

We can ask the God who can and does move mountains for us to move those mountains in our hearts. The mountians that get in the way of our honest seeking of the kingdom.

~ Ben


Josh said...

Good words.

My human-ness gets in the way of kingdom seeking... more often, lately, I find that praying encourages me to refocus attention away from myself and toward where Spirit is leading.

Sometimes I think that's the point of prayer - I pray that God's will be done, but it's not like He needs my permission ;) It more about me understanding my position in the scheme of things.

I've been going through the book "Crazy Love" with a small group - and we've had this conversation before. Ultimately, we need to get over ourselves. ;)

Ben said...

Yeah! "It more about me understanding my position in the scheme of things."

Great way to put it!

Biggest problem in the world, today. Not understanding our position. People tend to either give themselves too SMALL a place in the world . . . or too BIG!!! :)