When I emailed a friend for prayer, I added that I was missing my late husband, who had always handled such things. What she prayed in response to my very immediate, temporal, self-interested (but necessary) request floored me. She asked God to be a husband to me. The Holy Spirit had shown her that my greater need--and God’s deep desire--was for me to feel that He cherished me and would care for me as my loving spouse. My friend took my “little answerable” and turned it into a “Thy kingdom come” request that invited God to reign in my heart in ways I deeply needed that day.
My experience illustrates an important prayer principle that brings life, depth, and eternity to our intercession: God wants to reign in our lives and world. So when we pray, we should view our needs and desires within the perspective of His desire--and right--to rule on earth as He does in heaven. The Holy Spirit helps us discern God’s heart as we pray, but here are some examples of what asking Him to reign might look like.
A friend’s daughter is failing her classes. You pray for her to study hard and earn better grades. But what about also asking God to develop her spiritual gifts and passions? Then ask Him to provide all her needs to prepare her to appropriate them in His kingdom.