I think it may broadly be stated that the supreme need of the Church is the realization experimentally of her relationship to God by the Holy Spirit. In the interaction of life and prayer will be found the secret of power, and the realization of fellowship with God will never be more than a theory save as prayer becomes a practice.
I am profoundly conscious that there is a great deal of prayer on the highest plane. God has His intercessors everywhere. They are to be found often in unexpected places, in men and women who have learned the secret, and who by familiar intercourse with God are channels of blessing to men : but the majority of us are not praying.
How can we pray “Thy Kingdom come,” if we are rebelling against the King ? How is it that our prayer so often fails to prevail ? Because we persist in praying, quite honestly, ” Thy Kingdom come ” and yet in our own heart we are not submissive to the King. Something in the life is permitted which is contrary to His will; something in the business, the friendships, the amusements. It is a solemn, yet awful truth that we blaspheme when we pray for the Kingdom to come and will not permit it to obtain in our own life.
Jesus said, ” Seek ye first His Kingdom, and His righteousness ; and all these things shall be added unto you.” That was His order for life. It is also His order for prayer. Prayer only fulfills the Master’s ideal when it begins with the interests of God and follows with the needs of man. I am afraid that order rebukes very much of our praying. Are we not all more or less in danger of praying first for all our own needs, and then in a closing sentence or two for the coming of the Kingdom of God ? Christ in the form of this prayer teaches us that our first business in prayer is to seek with God for His victory in the world ; that the deepest purpose of prayer is not that we may obtain what we need, but that God should gain that which glorifies His name. Passion for the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the world is the deepest note in prayer.
Thanks for stopping by, John.