What fills your prayers? For what do you spend most of your “knee-time”? In many cases the focus of our prayers fixates on earthly goods and temporal welfare. We ask God to bless our work, fill our coffers, heal our bodies, provide our food, increase our giving, enlarge our church and protect our nation. But if animals could speak, would not this absorb their devotions as well? If ease and comfort occupies first place, do not our prayers resemble the howls of hounds crying at the slightest inconvenience? He would be justified who classifies such petitions as nothing other than brutish prayers.
Jesus says Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matt 6:33). Herein lies the answer to what should fill our prayers. Our first concern, our great request, our primary petition must involve our Lord’s kingdom. The one whom God chooses and who enjoys His favor is he who places Christ’s reign and righteousness before all temporal blessings such as food, clothing and other earthly comforts. Like a deer that pants for flowing streams, his soul pants for the living God. He thirsts for God (Ps 42:1-2). He longs for the place where the sacred assembly gathers (Ps 84:2) and is most glad when he can attend the worship of God (Ps 122:1). He is most concerned about Christ’s kingdom and considers that his first priority in life. Not surprisingly his prayers are both well ordered and God-centered. He is content with any circumstance as long as he enjoys God (Ps 73:25). As Thomas Manton points out, this only is how to be freed from complaining about God’s providence and questioning His love. Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually (Ps 105:4). This is the secret to living a contented, steady, fruitful Christian life. In all things Jesus Christ is preeminent.
Book Review: Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation by G.K. Beale - G.K. Beale is a well known author with many works on Biblical studies under his belt. *Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis an...
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