“But this command I gave them: ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.” – Jeremiah 7:23.
Ask yourself this question: Does prayer set the agenda for your life? And who’s agenda is it?
The Bible tells us that while rebuking Peter, Jesus said, “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16:23). In other words, Jesus was telling Peter that he was not pursing God’s agenda in that particular situation. Peter was not thinking God’s thoughts but man’s. He did not seem to grasp the necessity of Jesus’ death. Peter thought that he was doing the right thing, but he wasn’t. In fact, had Jesus permitted what Peter suggested to occur, there would not have been a death, burial and resurrection. On the cross is where we are redeemed, and it is where our sin debt to God is canceled. There are times when we feel a particular course of action is the right thing to do. However, if God has a different agenda, we should always follow His lead and His agenda.
Look at the life of Jesus when it comes to prayer and obedience to His Father. It was prayer that set the agenda for Jesus’ ministry “In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12). Prayer preceded a miracle: “I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:42-43) Prayer brought Him encouragement at critical moments. “ About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:28-31);
Jesus held himself to the same standards when it came to pursing God the Father’s agenda. The Bible tells us that when he was faced with a situation that he did not want to experience, that he looked to God his Father and said, “… take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). In other words, Jesus was saying, “because you know what is best for me, and, will do what is best for me, I ask that you do your will.”
We all have issues that we would like to go away, people we don’t want to deal with, things we don’t want to go through, as well as our own plans for dealing with them. Let me encourage you, in spite of these and any other concerns that you first pursue God’s agenda. God knows what is best for each of us, and, will do what is best for us.
In our 21 days of Prayer, our hope is that we will learn to pray about everything and trust God with everything in our life. At times we may sense His direction and feel the peace that comes from the Holy Spirit even though we would choose a different path. Praying through every decision, listening to His voice, and leaning upon His wisdom will enable you to determine and then follow God’s agenda.
- Evaluate yourself. What part of your agenda is driven by God and what percentage is driven by you?
- Have you considered God’s work in you to be a complete rebuilding or just “tweaking?” What effect can this difference of perspective have in your life?
- What is the difference between seeking the “plans” God may have for us and simply seeking Him?
- What could be practically done to ensure that you seek God’s agenda in the next three weeks?