The Kind of Praying
that Draws Us on in God’s Kingdom
The prayer Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 prepares Christian believers for the travail of the last days. In Matthew 24, one of the last lessons from Jesus for His disciples, He describes the events before His return by calling them the beginning of sorrows. This word sorrows, meaning “birth-pangs,” connects us with the urgent petitions of the Prayer Jesus taught us.
DAY 1—Turning from a Meaningless Religion
Matthew 24:1,2—And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to Him for to show Him the buildings of the Temple (the greater Temple). And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? (Don’t you see that these things are not lasting?) verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
FATHER, I spend too much time looking at things that are not permanent. Some things have become idols in my life. Won’t You please set me free and draw my heart, and mind, toward the eternal values of Your Kingdom.
DAY 2—A Question from the Disciples
Matthew 24:3—And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (“What shall be the sign of Your parousía and of the consummation of the age?”)
LORD, I have so very little understanding about what lies ahead. Sometimes I’m afraid of the future. But today I’m ready to put away my fears, and trust You, O, my REDEEMER!
Putting away Worry, Making God’s Kingdom the Sole Object of Our Search
DAY 3—A Warning about Religious Deception
Matthew 24:4,5—And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in (Greek, in—epi, upon) My Name (making merchandise of Christ’s suffering), saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Colossians 2:8—Make sure no one captures you. They will try to capture you by using false reasoning that has no meaning. Their ideas depend on human teachings. They also depend on the basic things the people of this world believe. They don’t depend on Christ.NIRV®
LORD, please bring the Spirit of Truth upon us as we gather to worship and study Your Word. Please give us a love for the Truth. Place within our spirits a Spirit of discernment so we can know what is false and what is true.
Overcoming the Great Deceiver by the Blood of the Lamb-Revelation 12:7-11
DAY 4—Learning Not to Be Troubled when Wars Increase
Matthew 24:6—And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end (the consummation of the age) is not yet.
Psalm 27:1-3—The Lord gives me light and saves me. Why should I fear anyone? The Lord is my place of safety. Why should I be afraid? My enemies are evil. They will trip and fall when they attack me and try to eat me alive. Even if an army attacks me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if war breaks out against me, I will still trust in God.NIRV®
LORD, You are my stronghold and place of safety. Knowing You gives me the greatest security anyone could ever know. Now I make mention of these dear ones. Please cause them to know Your Truth, and live in it. When I’m not here to pray for them, help them to know how to place their trust in You, completely.
Our Help in Trouble—Psalm 46:1-11
DAY 5—When Nation Is Raised against Nation
Matthew 24:7a—For nation shall rise against nation (nation shall be raised against nation by an outside spiritual force), and kingdom against kingdom...
Revelations 22:1,2—And He showed me a pure river of Water of Life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the Throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the Tree of Life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
LORD, I see—even if but dimly—that after nations are raised up against nations, there shall come a healing of the nations. Oh, let my heart reach toward that day. Let me participate in getting the Good News of Your Kingdom out unto the peoples of the nations.
Our Commission to Take the Gospel to the Nations—Matthew 28:18-20
DAY 6—Knowing where the Resource is when there is Not Enough Food to Go Around
Matthew 24:7b—...and there shall be famines...(widespread lack of food for nourishment).
Matthew 6:25—Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought (no anxious thought) for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
LORD JESUS, You are the Ruler of the nations. Even the famines that spread over the earth are under the watch of Your Throne. You oversee all that happens as the groaning of end-time travail comes on. As we join the travail, we know we shall see Your faithful provision in the darkest days. We trust Your Kingdom’s power, and its provisions of grace.
The faithfulness of the Lord lasts forever.—Psalm 92:1,2; Ps 89:1-8; Ps 119:90
DAY 7—The Pestilence We Shall not Fear
Matthew 24:7c—...and there shall be... pestilences...(plagues, disease out of control)
Psalm 91:5-7—Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day; nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness (disease that hits cattle and people, moving through the land without letup); nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
GREAT REDEEMER, we are placing our trust in Your healing grace. We are finding healing in Your Kingdom. We turn our fears over to Your Throne and give up our dread. We hold no anxiety. Oh, may the grace and power of Your Kingdom be known in these nations!
The Name of the Lord, Our Help—Psalm 124
DAY 8—The Earth as It Shakes to Help Us
Matthew 24:7c—...and there shall be ... earthquakes in divers places (earthquakes and uprisings among the people throughout the earth).
Acts 16:25,26—And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
Our great protector GOD, we are learning to hide beneath Your wings. You will use even the rumblings of the earth to set Your prisoners free. The power of Your Kingdom even reaches into the depths. Oh, let us Your people see Your Kingdom’s power at work!
In the Calm in the Midst of the Earthquake—Psalm 46:1-11
DAY 9—The Beginning of Birth-pangs for the Age to Come
Matthew 24:8—All these are the beginning of sorrows (birth-pangs).
I Thessalonians 5:3—For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
FATHER, it is as though we are pregnant. Something from the realm of Your Kingdom has laid hold of our spirits. Rising from deep within us is a cry for Your Kingdom to come. Oh, let it come within us! Let us know its power! Let it come among these people, these congregations, these nations I call before You.
A House no Earthquake Can Bring Down—II Corinthians 5:1-8
Romans 8:18-22 fits with Matthew 24:1-8 and with what the Lord Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. Both the passage from Romans 8 and from Matthew 24 speak of travail in birth. We stop short with Matthew 24 which tells of the beginning of the travail, however, leaving the fullness of the travail for a later time. We will begin now to pray our way through the Romans 8 passage as it tells of our entering into the travail with creation as it groans for its latter day. Herein the urgency of the “Lord’s Prayer” reaches its fullest degree.
DAY 10—The Present Suffering that Prepares Us for the Glory that Shall Be Ours
Romans 8:18—For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
I Peter 1:13—So prepare your minds for action. Control yourselves. Put your hope completely in the grace that will be given to you when Jesus Christ returns.NIRV®
I Peter 4:13—Be joyful that you are taking part in Christ’s sufferings. Then you will be filled with joy when Christ returns in glory.NIRV®
LOVING FATHER, please help us see that the suffering we are going through now is but the travail that shall give birth to our glory. I believe that the help of Your Spirit is coming upon us now to prepare us for the day that is coming.
Travail That Turns into Joy—John 16:20-24
DAY 11—The Hope God Puts in Us
Romans 8:20—For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope...
Romans 8:20—The created world was bound to fail. But that was not the result of its own choice. It was planned that way by the One who made it...NIRV®
LOVING FATHER, today I place my trust in what You have ordained for me. Even the sufferings—I receive them from Your loving hand. They are sanctified to me. I receive them as part of the travail that will give birth to what You have ordained for us who have trusted Your Son, our Lord Jesus.
A Prayer for Someone Going through Affliction, Waiting for the Joy of Zion
DAY 12—The Liberty of God’s Children
Romans 8:20,21—Because the creature itself (that’s us, along with all creation) also shall be delivered (set free) from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
[niv] 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
Acts 3:19-21—Repent ye therefore, and be converted (be turned toward God), that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing (the seasons of cheerful recreation) shall come from the presence of the Lord. And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you (Who was heralded unto you): Whom the heaven must receive (embrace) until the times of restitution (restoration) of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy Prophets since the world began.
DEAR GOD, let there come in us a way of thinking that will prepare us for the refreshing Your Spirit will bring upon us. We long for a season of cheer that will strengthen us. Oh, help us ride over the rough times with joy.
When God Renews Us to Carry us through Our Time of Travail—Psalm 104:30-34
DAY 13—Our Travail alongside Creation’s
Romans 8:22—For we know that the whole creation groans (joins together in an internal and unexpressed groan) and travails in pain together (and joins together with us in the travail of birth) until now ( right up to this present time).
Matthew 24:8—All these (things pronounced before) are the beginning of sorrows (the travail of birth).
FATHER, I am beginning to see that the grief and pain we’ve known lately is part of the travail that will give birth to a new day. Increase hope within us. Let us have a season of refreshing that will encourage us as we press on through the time of travail.
The Birth of the Man child—Revelations 12:1-5
DAY 14—Groaning, Waiting for Our Adoption
Romans 8:22—And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Romans 8:22NIRV®—And that’s not all. We have the Holy Spirit as the promise of future blessing. But we also groan inside ourselves as we look forward to the time when God will adopt us as full members of His family. Then He will give us everything He has for us. He will raise our bodies and give glory to them.
FATHER, I praise You for the Holy Spirit You sent to dwell in us. I yield today to the joy, and the hope, and the enabling grace He gives. Oh, let us know a new fullness of His presence!
The Desolate Land Waiting—Jeremiah 12:9-11
Not knowing how to pray while going through the time of travail, the Holy Spirit Himself has come within us to make supplication for us. He is both praying within us in behalf of us. And, He is praying within us in behalf of others.
DAY 15—How the Holy Spirit Prays When We Know Not What, or How, to Pray
Romans 8:26—Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities (our weakness in knowing how to pray): for we know not what we should pray for as we ought (what necessity demands that our prayer should be): but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Psalm 6:6,9—I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears...The LORD has heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.
FATHER, the groanings of my own spirit join with the groanings of Your Spirit. This is giving me hope that You are bringing to birth in me whatever belongs in Your eternal Kingdom.
The Fruit of the Spirit—Galatians 5:22,23
DAY 16—The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us according to what God desires.
Romans 8:27—And He that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Psalm 17:15—As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness.
FATHER, I do not know how to pray about the fullness of Your will. So, I yield to the prayers of Your Spirit as He prays for me, and in me.
Doing Those Things That Are Pleasing in His Sight—I John 3:19-24
DAY 17—Things that Make up Our Life
Romans 8:28—And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. (We instinctively know that God takes the combined energy of everything that comes into our life and makes use of it to bring about what is good for His holy purpose in us.)
FATHER, there are things in my life right now that I do not feel good about. Some of it came from my own failings. Some from what others have imposed on me. Some have come from my own nature. Some have come by accident. I give it all over to You. Sanctify the energy of it all and make it work for good in me for Your Kingdom.
What Happened in Paul Working toward the Furtherance of the Gospel --Philippians 1:12
Scripture marked with NIRV® is taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL READER’S VERSION®. Copyright © 1996, 1998 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
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