But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. Matthew 6:33, Amplified Bible. (emphasis added)
The Kingdom of God is God’s system of operation or how He does business. And every kingdom has a protocol. A protocol is system of rules that explain the correct conduct and procedures to be followed in formal situations.
Prayer is one of the primary ways we find out the expressed will of the King.
The apostle Paul is considered one the greatest men of the Bible. He is accredited with writing nearly two-thirds of the New Testament. His letters to some of the local churches, called epistles, are still guiding the global body of Christ today.
Paul endured hardships for the sake of the Gospel that many of us cannot imagine.
- Beaten countless times
- Arrested numerous times
- Received 39 lashes with a whip by the Jews — on five different occasions
- Beaten with rods three times
- Stoned and left for dead
- Shipwrecked three times
- A night and a day, lost at sea
- Encountered life-threatening situations with robbers
While living in conditions like this, his prayer for one particular church went like this:
9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better…. Colossians 1:9-10 (NLT)
Why could he pray like this? Why would he pray like this? He shares a life transforming revelation with us in his letter to the Philippians:
8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! Philippians 3:8-11 (NLT)
Nothing compares to knowing the heart of God. Paul sought the will of God regarding the people under his charge. He understood by divine revelation that if the Colossians knew the will of God, God would provide all of the temporal things they needed.
Nothing is more rewarding or more fulfilling than pleasing the One who called you. The hope of eternal life outweighs all of the temporary discomforts of the body we could ever face on earth.