But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.
What is the main subject of our prayers? Do we pattern them after this teaching of Christ? What do we ask for most often? What do we want most from God? What does God want most from us?
The people mentioned in the Bible had the same physical needs that we have today. However, as we study scripture, we learn from the examples of Christ's teaching and Paul's prayers that our emphasis should not be on our physical needs. Rather, our emphasis should be on our spiritual needs. God knows what we need before we ask. Therefore, He has promised to provide for our physical needs to free us to focus on and develop the spiritual aspect of our lives. Consider the following prayers of Paul for his Christian brothers and sisters.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:9-12
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11
How many of his requests were for physical needs? How many were for spiritual needs? We see that the priority of these prayers is spiritual change. This does not mean we should not pray about physical concerns. However, it does indicate that our emphasis in prayer should be on spiritual needs and not on physical needs.
May we follow the example of Paul's prayers and refocus on spiritual concerns during our times of intercession for others and ourselves. Our prayers must seek the advancement of the kingdom of God and the development of Holiness in our lives for the glory of God!
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