“Call unto Me, and I will answer you…” (Jer. 33:3)
There are at least two kinds of prayer that the Lord hears. The first is the cry of the heart. In Psalm 107, four times we find this declaration: “…Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses.” (vs. 6,13,19, 28) God hears the cry of the sincere, needy heart, that is directed to Him and to Him alone. Why? Because He is a God of compassion, and mercy, knowing our limits, and all that pertains to us in our need. Then there is the second kind of prayer, and it is from the heart that is seeking first His kingdom and righteousness. This the heart that prays: “…Thy kingdom come and Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10) If ever there was a declaration by God of the true nature, and certainty of prayer, it is here in this verse. The Lord Jesus is declaring to us that this type of prayer is the expression of our conformity with the purpose, mind, and will of the Almighty God. Where there is conformity with Christ, and the alignment of our motives and knowledge with His will, then there is the effective out-working of God’s purposes on this earth. In essence, His living River flows through the unobstructed channel that is His will. God wondrously responds and intervenes when the cry of the heart rises to His throne. He also moves, and accomplishes His wondrous will and purposes in and through the life of the one who is increasingly brought into conformity with His mind and heart.
How does this work out in practical reality? What does it mean to pray “…Thy kingdom come,” and, then to “…seek first the kingdom of God?” (Matt. 6:33) It means that there is a deliberate choice, followed by an attitude, of deferring all to God, to Christ as Lord. It is as this position is taken, and maintained, that the door of the mind and heart is open to KNOW His will, and grasp something of His purposes. David wrote in Psalm 25:4, “…Show me Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths.” David’s heart was open and teachable. Paul would pray for the Colossian Christians, “…that you might be FILLED with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” (Col. 1:9) How shall they KNOW the will of God? By prayerful study of the word of God, and the faith-filled expectancy in the Spirit of God to lead them into all truth. Thus, the Spirit of God teaches us, like them, “…in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,” what the will of God is in any, and every situation. Then, we shall know HOW to pray, and specifically, what to pray for, with assurance that He hears us.
Gracious Father, we would seek first Your kingdom, that blessed reign of Christ over the whole of our lives, characterized by our willingness to be taught by, and to follow Your Son. Enable us, as we come to Your word, to study it carefully, living in the expectation that the Spirit of Christ, will reveal the things of Christ to our hearts. Then, strengthen us with all might by Your Spirit, that we might pray faithfully, and effectively…seeing your kingdom come, and Your will being done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.