Tuesday, 4 February 2014

As it is in Heaven

We've been talking about prayer a lot at Redeemer Leeds these last few weeks. A few things have really stood out for me  - I imagine because of what is going on in life at the moment.
"Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven"
I think I have struggled with the 'your will be done' bit a lot. As in all the normal ones  - like, if God's will is going to be done - why should I be praying? But also a few rather weirder ones. As in 'what if God's will is to have me suffer? Or bad stuff happens?' That has even made me feel scared to pray for God's will. But a few things have become clearer:

1. Bad things happen in the world, to everyone, not because of God's will, but because the world is fallen and sinful. God can and shows, numerous times in the Bible that He will use messed up people and situations to bring about incredible good - even rescuing people through the death of Jesus.

2. God is my loving heavenly father. If I love to give good things to my kids, even though I lose my temper with them every day - how much more will God love to give me good things?

3. I need to be clear what those good things are. They may be physical blessings - but I should desire those that will last  - spiritual ones that moths and rust can't get to. If I am at rest in Jesus, then I will want his will more - by reading the Bible more I will know and pray for those good things He promises me there.

4. Praying that situations and people will be redeemed - that they will reflect and be now like they will be in heaven has become a powerful vision for me. Knowing that a close friend who died recently is there and is experiencing 'no more mourning or crying or pain anymore' seems to have spoken to my heart that although these things are for the new heaven and the new earth - Jesus tells us to pray for those things NOW.

So I want to pray for situations where people are angry, sad and damaged by sin - that God will restore peace and send forgiveness and reconciliation.

I want to pray for where people are struggling under the weight of guilt and shame, that God will free them through Jesus' death and resurrection and that they would be free to enjoy his grace.

I want to pray for lives touched by pain and suffering that God will send comfort and healing.

I want to pray for those struggling with the burden of everyday life that God will give renew their strength - that they would be able to run and not be weary.

God's kingdom starts now.

'Make everything in the world right again.
And in our hearts too. 
Do what is best  - just like you do in heaven, 
And please do it down here, too'.
(Jesus Storybook Bible)

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