Sometimes we all wonder about the “effectiveness” of prayer; more particularly, the “effectiveness of our prayers.” In this article, I hope that you will come away encouraged to pray by joining with me in a simple comparison of “God at work” in Genesis 1:1-3 (the “beginning of the beginning”), and “God at work” in Matthew 6:10 (the “beginner=s prayer”). As we compare these two passages, I believe we will be encouraged as to how God is at work in both these passages to bring about His Creative Will… even through us!
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.”
1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”
A “King” Has to Have a “Kingdom”
Let’s begin with comparing the phrases, “Your Kingdom come” and “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” There are several thoughts that come to my mind as I think about how these two phrases intersect.
First, God does nothing by accident, but always with intention and purpose. From the very beginning, God “created a creation” with which He intended to “interact.” When you look at the culmination of the creation account in both Genesis 1 & 2, God created an environment with the intention of having a place for His Presence to commune with His creation. God created “His Kingdom” not just “His creation.”
From the very beginning, this Kingdom is uniquely His; but also uniquely shared in communion with us the pinnacle of His creation, a reflection of the communion image in the trinity with man as “male and female.”
From the very beginning, God’s Kingdom has been intentionally here, and intentionally growing throughout the whole of the earth through us.
So when we pray, “Your Kingdom come”, we are aligning ourselves with God’s “creation purposes” from the very beginning. God desires to work through us to grow all of creation into a place that is fit for His Presence to abide; that reflects His image and glory; that reflects His creative nature.
God has chosen to work over us, through us and in us (cf. Ephesians 4:6).
Our Prayers create a context for God’s Creative Purposes to grow.
A “King” Has “Soverign Power and Authority”
Next, let’s compare the phrases, “Your will be done” and “the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters” to see how they intersect.
The phrase, “Your will be done” can also be translated as “Your will be birthed/created.” The phrase “the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters” should probably be translated as “the Spirit of God was brooding/hovering over the surface of the waters.”
God’s will comes into existence only through God’s power and authority. And as the Holy Spirit was waiting in position to go forth, as a unique member of the Holy Trinity, to birth, to create Their unified Will in the fullness of the power and authority of the Trinity.
There is a “divine cooperation” within the Divine Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit that works in cooperation for both the “what, where, when and how”.
The Holy Spirit did everything in cooperation with the Will of the Father and Son, and they with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit had complete authorization and right and power to “create and birth” all that He created. The Holy Spirit did not act upon Its own initiative, but upon Their initiative; Their sovereign right; Their Holy Power. God “acts” because He has the “right to act”.
And when Jesus invites us to pray, “Your Will be done/birthed/created…”, Jesus is inviting us to join in communion with Father, Son and Holy Spirit to bring about Their Will in submission to their Holy delegated power, authority, and sovereignty.
When we are seeking to bring into creative existence the will of God (hopefully we have spent some time “listening to the Father” first), then our prayers are not “impotent” – they are divinely authorized and empowered to be agents of His creative work; we are divinely authorized and empowered to be His agents of His creative work.
There is a verse in the Apostle Paul’s 2 letter to the Corinthians that expresses well what this is about; that expresses well our hope and confidence when we live in the Name and Reality of the life of Jesus:
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;” (2 Corinthians 4:7).
Our Prayers create a context for God’s Creative Will to grow.
A “King” Has a “Kingdom Reality” in Mind
But what is it God is trying to “create”? To “bring into existence”? To “grow”?
Let’s look at two last phrases from both of these passages, and see how they intersect: “On earth as it is in heaven” and “Then God said, “Let there be…”
Our world was never meant to be oriented “from earth to heaven”, but “from heaven to earth”. In fact, in Matthew 6:10, the Greek more literally translates, “as in heaven also/even upon earth.” The “reality” God has in mind for His Kingdom exists first in heaven with Him. It is a reality that cannot be corrupted by us when “His Kingdom comes”, and overcomes any corruption that may exist in our world.
In Genesis 1 & 2, everything that proceeded from the mouth of the Father through the words, “Let there be …” was intended to share with us the growing wonders of His Heavenly realities, “as (it is) in heaven, also/even upon earth.”
Think of the wonders and awesome creative works God has privileged us to “birth, create, do” through the work of prayer. Wondrous things awaiting and staged in heaven to be brought into our shared reality with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Our prayers were never meant to create our kingdom. Our prayers were never meant to produce anything in our power or authority. Our prayers were never meant to produce our reality.
God has given us the partnership of prayer with Him, through Jesus the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit so that we might share in His delight as Creator.
Our Prayers create a context for God’s Creative Reality to grow until …
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)
Do not be discouraged when you pray! For God, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit has offered us a partnership with Him, through His power and authority, to make a world of difference.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,