Those who follow Christ are called to a life that is passionate for the honor of God’s name, the advancement of God’s kingdom and the fulfillment of God’s will. A life on divine mission is fueled by zeal for God’s name, kingdom and will.
The best way to deeply infuse these passions and priorities into your life is to repeatedly offer them as prayers to God.
Pray in this way, Jesus taught,
“Our Father in heaven, may Your name be honored. May Your kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth just as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9, N.L.T.)
Don’t pass over the line “on earth as it is in heaven” because it sets the focus and the standard for this life and eternity.
Heaven on earth? Yes! While we long for heaven itself, we pursue heaven like realities on earth! God is honored, worshipped and obeyed in heaven. Let this be done on earth as it is in heaven!
As we call out to God (daily) for these great concerns, they become our motive for our words and works.
Before praying: “give us,” “forgive us,” and “deliver us,” we are called to intercede for higher concerns: God’s name, God’s kingdom and God’s will.
By starting prayer as Jesus taught, we learn to keep first things first. It’s natural to focus prayer first on ourselves. But before praying: “give us,” “forgive us,” and “deliver us”—we need to express higher concerns: God’s name, God’s kingdom and God’s — come first.
The highest purpose to life
Here then is the highest purpose to life! Life’s priorities must be shaped by these concerns. Life’s meaning is found in these passions.
But when praying this way, we’re acknowledging that certain things are needed (and missing) in the world. We acknowledge that:
- God’s name is not being honored.
- God’s rule on earth has not been fully established.
- God’s will is not being done.
When we pray this way, we’re not only admitting that the world is in rebellion against God, we’re committing to someone greater than ourselves. We’re centering the desire of our hearts and the mission of our lives on:
- Honor for God’s name
- Submission to God’s kingship
- Obedience to God’s will.
Praying this way leads us to long for the time when, “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11; Isaiah 2:12, 17).
The zeal of the people of God should be that without exception every tongue should acknowledge the supreme honor already given to Jesus by God the Father (Ephesians 1:18-22; Colossians 1:18 ).
Prayer will lead us into this zeal and as the late John R. W. Stott wrote, “It is this zeal for Christ which integrates the worship and witness of the church. How can we worship Christ and not mind that others do not? It is our worship of Christ which impels us to witness to Christ, in order that others may come and worship him too” (The Contemporary Christian, p. 368).
Of those who lack such zeal, Stott asked, “… Have these men, then, no jealousy for the honour of Jesus Christ? Do they not care when he is despised and rejected? Do they not long, as God does, that all human beings, whatever their culture or religion, will bow their knee to Jesus, and submit to him as their Lord?” (Ibid.)
Stay on mission through disciplined and passionate prayer focused on the highest possible concerns available to humanity.
- Universal honor for God’s name
- Total submission to His kingship
- Complete obedience to His will.