Saturday, May 06, 2006

identification in prayer- 2

It is important in praying to be able to identify, at least in a general way, with the one or ones we are praying for. As we looked at on the previous post.

It is also important in our praying to be able, and really, enabled, to identify with God and his purposes. This is not static, but dynamic, and in need of the Holy Spirit's work in us, as well as Scripture's ongoing impact by God, on us.

This is part of what it means to pray in Jesus' name. It doesn't merely mean tack on "in Jesus' name, Amen," at the end of our prayers, though we can do that. And it certainly includes meaning that we come to God on the basis of Jesus and his work for us. But it also means we come to God as those who are identified with Jesus in his ongoing work by the Spirit through his people in the world.

The prayer Jesus taught his disciples (Matthew 6:9-13) illustrates this two-fold identification we are to have, in our praying. In the first part, we identify with our Father and his will and purpose in the world. Then in the last part, we identify with our needs as humans in the Jesus community. The two parts do overlap in that God's kingdom is for the good of all humankind, and our needs being met are in relation to God's righteousness being sought by us. And this prayer certainly includes the desire of God that all would be saved, and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:1-7).

God, Let us be those who love your will, and desire it- more and more. Let us be enabled to pray, as those who want no less than your good kingdom to come and and be increasingly realized, in our lives and the lives of others. In Jesus. Amen.

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