We have a new monthly prayer meeting at Shiloh that I am calling the "Kingdom-Focused Prayer Meeting."
During this prayer meeting, it is my goal that we would focus on prayer for kingdom, spiritual, eternal matters, not just personal matters. Of course, there is nothing wrong with praying about personal matters. You ought to pray about everything. But we often error by praying mainly for matters of health and finances and the like, without concentrating on the things of God in our prayers.
I am guilty of this myself. And I need this prayer meeting just as much as the congregation does that I may learn to pray more intentionally and strategically for the spread of the gospel, the health of the church, and the advance of the kingdom of heaven.
During this month's prayer meeting, we prayed through the petitions of the Lord's Prayer. I was moved to do this after reading Martin Luther's A Simple Way to Pray, translated and edited by Dr. Archie Parrish. It was Luther's practice to regularly pray through the Ten Commandments, The Lord's Prayer, and the Apostle's Creed. He did not just recite them. He would pray through them, seeking God that the implications of these truths to be fleshed out.
I prepared a guide for our last prayer meeting to help us pray through the Lord's Prayer. Here it is. May you find it helpful in your times of prayer.
Our Father in Heaven: We praise God for adopting us into his family through Jesus' blood and righteousness and for giving us access to him through Christ.
Hallowed be Your Name: We pray that God's holy name would be glorified by our worship, our commitment to the truth, and our obedience to him.
Your Kingdom Come: We pray for the salvation of the lost in Jacksonville and around the world and for the church to influence the culture for Christ as "salt" and "light."
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven: We pray for submission to the authority of God's word, for understanding of the truth, and for divine help to observe all that the Lord commands us to do.
Give us this day our daily bread: We pray for provision for our needs, for wisdom for our governmental leaders, and for greater concern and generosity toward the poor.
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors: We pray that the Lord would grant us to respond to our guilt with repentance and to respond to the offenses of others with mercy.
And lead us not into temptation: Grant us spiritual wisdom, diligence in prayer, and devotion to Christ that we may avoid sin and error.
But deliver us from evil: Pray for God's protection for our families, for Shiloh, and for our city, for greater confidence in the faithfulness of God, and for the hope of heaven to fill our hearts.