When we look at the content of the prayers of the early church we are amazed they didn’t pray like much of the church does today— for the little answerable “fix”. Instead, they prayed for Kingdom matters, what we call Kingdom Prayers. Let me explain.
A “little answerable” is a prayer for a little “fix” that is often related to our sense of entitlement from God. These can be called horizontal prayers. We lose our job so we pray for a new one. A loved one is sick, so we pray for their healing. We don’t have enough money to make it through the end of the month, so we pray to win the lottery. And on the surface, these seem like proper, loving, spiritual prayers. But that’s not how the early church prayed.
A Kingdom prayer, on the other hand, is praying for something that has lasting value and importance in the Kingdom of God. For example, look at the following prayers and note what they are asking for (and what they are not): Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-19, Romans 15:5-6, 13, Philippians 1:9-11, Philemon 1:4-6.
Do you see the difference? Instead of praying for the current situation to be remedied, the early church prayed for a lasting effect in the believer no matter how the situation turned out. Their prayers were long-term, character-focused, and not merely looking for an immediate “fix” to make life better.
So what can we learn from this? Assuming you looked up the verses listed above, the following are a few truths we can glean from the content of the Kingdom prayers.
One, don’t immediately just jump to the obvious when you pray for a need. Instead, begin by asking God what He wants to do in that situation? Or, what is His will regarding what you pray? Or finally, what would give Him the most glory in this situation? Then, begin to pray accordingly.
Two, don’t be so quick to pray for the results or the “fix”. Instead, pray for spiritual growth, insight, and development in the life of the one in need. Again, ask God what He wants to do to bring glory to Himself in this situation or how He wants to transform the person into the image of His Son in this?
Three, when you don’t know what to pray, then pray Scripture. The Holy Spirit will guide you in your prayer and even pray for you when you don’t know how to pray. Remember the promise in Romans 8:26-27.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God – Romans 8:26-27.
Having the content of your prayers changed to focus more on the eternal rather than the temporal is one major step to becoming a faith prepper. To find out more about how this is done and how to become a faith prepper, keep listening.
The following is a study on the prayer life of the early church or Kingdom Praying.