13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! — 1 Kings 3:13 NLT
1 Kings 3:5-14 NLT When we go before the Lord to pray, do we jump right into our lists of things that we “need” and/or want or do we first acknowledge who God is? Do we allow Him to influence our prayers in any way? Do we truly pray that His will be done in our lives or are we more concerned that God should answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered and when we want them to be answered? Do we ever consider what God might want us to ask Him to give us? Do we often pray prayers that actually grieve the Holy Spirit because we don’t allow Him to help us pray? It might be helpful right after we have prayed to think back through what we have just asked God to do for us. Do we pray prayers that have eternal consequences for all of God’s Kingdom or are our prayers just about us and our present situation? We should bring our specific requests before God at all times, but our prayers should not always be limited to “we four and no more”. God says no to our requests when we “ask amiss”. When we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in our prayer times, we can be sure that God will be pleased with our prayers as well. When He is pleased with our requests, He answers “Yes” to those requests and adds bonuses that we did not even consider or imagine. When we pray, our focus needs to be upward and outward as well as inward.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
6 “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, 8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me. 9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.–John 17:6-9 (NLT)
From verse one of this chapter, Jesus has been talking to the Father. He has been rehearsing to the Father all that He had done in obedience to the Father. Of course, God already knew all of this. But Jesus was specifically pointing out to His Father that the disciples had now accepted the truth of His words and the truth of who He really was. Jesus was leading up to His intercessory prayer for not only His disciples but for every person that would believe in Him from then until the end of this world. Starting tomorrow, we will be looking at THE most beautiful, powerful intercessory prayer that has ever been spoken by a human. And what makes it even more meaningful is the fact that it is only an example to show us what Jesus is doing in heaven right now. 24 But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.—Hebrews 7:24, 25 (NLT)
Just think about that for a minute, Jesus, Himself, is praying for us right now!
“What have we to dread, what have we to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms”?*** The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. He drives out the enemy before you; he cries out, ‘Destroy them!’ —Deuteronomy 33:27 (NLT)
***Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” words written by Elisha Hoffman, music by Anthony Showalter