“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)
If the first part of the mystery of prayer to a sovereign God focuses on relationship with God, the second part of that mystery relates to God’s invitation for us to join Him in His work in the world. The activity of prayer is intricately united with God’s invitation to join Him in Kingdom work.
At the beginning of the story of our world, Adam and Eve relate to God in unbroken fellowship. Their creation in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and their calling to steward the earth (1:28) is woven together through their interactive communion with God (2:15-17; 3:8). In the ideal state of the original creation, prayer was a natural part of both human relationship with God and human work with God in the world.
That same reality is part of the mystery of prayer to a Sovereign God now. God’s purposes in the world are and will be worked out in creation, and human beings are invited by God into His work. When we are reconciled to God in relationship through Jesus Christ, our interactive communion with God is restored. Yet it is not merely relationship with God that is reconciled, but our commission to stewardship of the earth with God that is likewise restored. This renewed commission includes the call to be witnesses to Jesus (Acts 1:8) and to make disciples of Jesus from all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). Yet all our external activity with God toward these ends must be woven together by the interactive communion with God that we call prayer. This was the intention in the original creation and it is the redeemed intention within God’s kingdom now.
It is for this reason that Jesus not only calls His followers to go and make disciples of Him, but also invites them to pray: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10). While God is sovereign over all the cosmos, He invites ordinary human beings like you and me into the kingdom work through prayer. This is not a little thing, but a great thing with God. Prayer is not unnecessary, but that very necessary thing without which we will never move forward with God. As the evangelist R. A. Torrey wrote: “We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services, but few conversions; much machinery, but few results.”
I seek to know You
and I seek to serve You.
May my life of prayer
increase my relationship with You
and intensify my service unto You.
Let Your kingdom come
and Your will be done
in me as I grow as Your child
and through me as I grow as Your witness.
All for Your glory
I prayer these things.