Ever since veil tearing day, the Spirit has been pointing people to the Throne. Our right to Throne access isn’t a gift of coupons for occasional visits. Access is a permanent, high-priced living space (costing Christ’s life) where prayer is a lifestyle response to the Throne…. and he is constantly training us to do it better and enjoy it more.
By growing us as pray-ers, the Spirit shapes us in right responses to Glory (forever a Throne-room feature).
Admiration of the Lord is a prayer life constant: responses to who he is, what he is like, and what he has done (prayers of wonder, praise, thanks, hunger, rest, etc.). But Throne access includes another right response, one that powerfully affects the quality of our life journey.
Access to Christ’s Throne exposes us to his nature AND to his heart and purpose for man. So, we praise him as King AND we ask for his Kingdom’s advance. We adore his name AND we pray that he be known in all the earth. We give thanks for his compassion AND we pray for his healing to nations. We celebrate his love AND we ask him to rescue and restore. We rest in his greatness AND we pray for his power to work in impossible places. Admiration is a primary response to the Throne, but it must overflow into missional prayer. Both are major in the Spirit’s school of right responses to Glory.
Praying for self-needs is good; the Lord welcomes it. But if self-needs monopolize our praying, we miss out on a huge part of the access joy. Our level of prayer enjoyment is directly connected to growth in right responses to the Throne.
Teach us to pray is an evergreen asking point (Luke 11:1). Christ’s answer to his disciple’s request tells us something about his priority order. Asking for personal needs is important (give us, forgive us, deliver us), but Jesus didn’t give it the top line in his asking order. He reserved that spot for a more far-reaching asking point: Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt 6:9-13)
Christ wasn’t ignoring the urgency of personal needs. But he knew how easily men allow worry to escalate needs to the top prayer spot. So he called his disciples away from worry, assured them they are the most valuable of Father’s created beauty, that he is fully aware of their needs and that he will care for them perfectly. Then (if they believed him) they were to rearrange their priority order: Seek FIRST his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matt 6:25-34). Kingdom life and increase was to top their wants list. It’s a priority grounded in prayer, and from there spreads into all of living.
Praying for Kingdom advance means asking for Christ’s rule to make a difference in lives, to give gospel breakthroughs, redeem cultures, transform communities, and triumph in his purpose. But here’s an exciting truth about prayer for Kingdom increase: it will always bring increase in the life of the pray-er.
Our prayer motivation is his Glory, not our gain. But there’s a spiritual principle at work: a connection between the change asked for and a change in the one asking. More on this in the next post.
It’s good to regularly review our prayer journey. Two areas to look at in learning right prayer responses to the Throne are:
- Praying as admirers of Christ. It’s a top value and it shapes prayer behaviour. So a good question to ask is: how generously do I practice this value in my prayer life?
- The asking priority. If listing prayer points in Missional and Personal needs columns work well for you, great. But we don’t want to miss the point of the review: an awareness of our heart’s focus. Is prayer life mainly (or solely) taken up with self-needs, or is the FIRST asking priority still firmly in place in the top line?
- Any prayer habit changes to be made?