It was God Himself who spoke these words to the Messiah, prompting the Lord Jesus what to pray for. This simple verse suggests something very important then about the nature of all successful prayer – that it must first be prompted by the Father. You see, my prayer doesn’t change His mind or cause Him to move. No, it is His mind that is to determine my prayer and direct my movement. That’s why effective prayer isn’t so much of a petition as it is a prophecy. My Father says to me, “Here is my will, ask for this.”
So, what is the prayer that the Father tells Jesus to pray? This is important to discover because whatever the Father told the Son to ask for would surely be within His desire for us to pray as well. It would certainly be within His will for us to pray such a prayer as has been prompted by Heaven. Well, the prayer the Christ is told to pray is that He may possess all of the secular world, and certainly the Father would say the same thing to those who wish Christ’s kingdom to come.
Now, who among us wouldn’t wish for such a thing? Isn’t our goal today to make Christ known and preeminent in all of the world? Don’t we desire to give Him as an inheritance those things that were once considered to be outside? You see, religion used to be something that was set apart from the world. It was contained and cordoned in the sanctuary. But now Christ claims the entire world! We resist such a separation of this world and His grace. We now see that the world, with its beauty and majesty is also a grace – a gift from the Father to His children. No longer is eathly beauty or the gifts of this world separated from our God’s grace. No, to us, all true beauty is from God, gifts are eternal and the goodness of this world is certainly the grace of the Spirit.
Christ is claiming through His people what the tempter offered – the kingdoms and glory of this world. Cana’s wedding and Bethany’s feast have been claimed by Christ. He has claimed a Sunday’s walk through a wheatfield, work on His day done out of church and even the good work done by one who doesn’t follow Him. His church has done for the common, everyday, things of life what was done for the little children – they have been brought to Jesus to be blessed.
My growing desire is for Christ’s Kingdom to come. I long for the day when the Father gives the Son the “heathen” for His inheritance. Now, I don’t necessarily desire that my sacred gifts be used for such end. I’m not so much interested that my voice be used to sing in the sanctuary or that my words be put together to form some sort of sacred verse or that my dreams be used to construct some elaborate church building. That would be but a partial victory for my Lord. I desire that these things be given to Jesus while they remain in their former realm. I would dedicate to Jesus my singing and dancing, my shopping and selling, my victories and losses. I see my strengths and powers, not only as gifts from Him, but as gifts to Him. Those things that were once claimed by the world – the “heathen” – I give as an inheritance to Him.