Sunday, August 04, 2013

The Jesus-Kind of Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2-4) serves as a model for all believers. In its historical context, we see that it is kingdom-centered, anti-imperialistic and political in nature.

The Jesus-kind of prayer addresses the God of Israel as “Father.” The Romans looked to Jupiter as Father. To ask the living God for his “will be done on earth,” in essence, supplants Jupiter’s reign and Rome’s right to rule on his behalf. If God’s will is done then Rome’s days are numbered.  

The call for God to provide “our daily bread” is a direct rejection of the Roman system of patronage.
The mention of debt forgiveness challenges the economic structure of Rome that seeks to keep everyone in debt and thus control them. 

The cry “deliver us from the evil one” likely references Caesar or Satan, the power behind the throne. In either case, the prayer is a call for political deliverance. 

A genuine Jesus-kind of prayer is kingdom-oriented prayer. Kingdom citizens look to God as their patron and his kingdom alone to sustain them.

Typical prayer in the West is anemic. Most of our prayers are focused on everything but the things of the kingdom. We are more concerned about Jack’s back, Jane’s pain and Joe’s toe rather than “Thy kingdom come.” 

My book HEAVEN ON EARTH calls upon pastors and the laity alike to transform their congregations into kingdom-driven churches. A good place to start is with prayer.

You can order “Heaven on Earth: Experiencing the Kingdom of God in the Here and Now” online or purchase a copy at your nearest Christian bookstore. Also available as an eBook.

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