Take a moment or two or ten and consider the heavenly kingdom that exists just beyond the veil. What thoughts come to mind? What do you believe to be true about your Father’s house and the rooms he has prepared in advance of your arrival?
As I’ve taken time to petition God with the most potent, practical prayer I can offer on behalf of my sons (and others)—“Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven”—a few thoughts surface regarding what I might actually be praying for them. What is God’s will in heaven? How does it live, breathe, and function? When we ask God for a similar measure to fall into our lives on planet earth, what might that look like?
I’m not an expert on heaven, but I do know God. His Word is alive and active in me. So as I consider heaven and God’s will therein, I’m confident that when I pray the prayer our Father taught us to pray in Matt. 6:9-13, I’m asking for a few specific things.
1. Revealed truth. Untainted. Pure. Without compromise. Absolute understanding. When you and I make it to the shores of our heavenly home, our eyes will be opened fully to truth. We’ll recognize truth, hold truth, walk in and with truth without any temporal constraints to blur our focus (see John 14:6-7). Certainly, we carry a measure of truth in our hearts as we travel this earthen sod, but imagine carrying it without hindrance.
When we pray the most potent, practical prayer on behalf of others, we’re praying for truth to be revealed exponentially to them on earth, even as it is revealed in heaven.
2. An accurate perception of God. Oh to see him face-to-face! To know God for who he is and to perfectly understand who we are in relation to who he is. That we, like our spiritual ancestors, might catch a glimpse of the Father in his radiant splendor and fall to our knees in humble response (see Rev. 1:17). That the mirrors which cradle our egos might shatter to the floor and, instead, we courageously allow ourselves to look in God’s eyes and see our true reflections set against the backdrop of his heart.
When we pray the most potent, practical prayer on behalf of others, we’re praying for glimpses of God in all of his glory to be made manifest in their lives. That they would perceive him accurately and respond accordingly.
3. Fellowship. People from every tribe, tongue, and nation will share the boundaries of heaven (see Rev. 5:9). Color won’t divide us. Language won’t confuse us. Geographical borders won’t separate us. Instead, our color, language, and geographical intricacies will enrich the heavenly banqueting table with enough flavors to last an eternal lifetime . . . to last forever.
When we pray the most potent, practical prayer on behalf of others, we’re praying for earthly fellowship that mirrors heaven’s family reunion. Oh to live that now and not allow our geography to segregate us but rather to enliven us and prepare us for the camaraderie of forever.
4. Worship. When did we stop? Why did we stop? Could it be that we’ve never really understood what worship means? For starters, reread #1 and #2. When we take hold of God’s truth and begin to understand who we are in relation to who God IS, then worship isn’t something we do on Sunday mornings; worship is how we live every moment of our lives. We pay our respects to the King. We make pilgrimage to the manger and lay our gifts at his feet. We journey further to the cross and share the grace meal with the grace-Giver. We travel on to the tomb and fill our famished hearts with its vacancy. We move finally and fully to the garden and realize that God is still with us, still in our midst. That he has chosen and continues to make his home with us through the power of the Holy Spirit and that one day soon, we’ll echo the resurrection cry of Easter, “Rabboni! … I have seen the Lord!” (see John 20:16-18).
When we pray the most potent, practical prayer on behalf of others, we’re asking for their hearts to be free from worldly constraints so that they might be able to live each moment of their lives reverently, acknowledging God and giving him his due. He’s due everything. We owe him everything. Get this, and you’ll get worship.
Revealed truth. An accurate perception of God. Fellowship. Worship. Four overflows from the most potent, practical prayer we can offer on behalf of others, “Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.” Certainly, not the fullness of this prayer; I’ve a feeling I’ve only scratched its surface. But it’s a start, a good way to begin this very good day. On my knees and in prayer for those I love.
Would you take a moment today to consider heaven and, then, out of that consideration pray the most potent, practical prayer on behalf of someone you love? What does “Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven” mean for you … for them? There is no more pressing, worthy consideration of your heart. When you take the time to consider heaven in all its fullness (and especially on behalf of others), you open your heart and theirs to forever.
And so I pray on behalf of you, friends . . .
God’s will be done in your lives today even as it is done in heaven. As always . . .
Peace for the journey,