Resisting God

Yesterday in my post for Ascension Day I linked to the prayer initiative 'Thy Kingdom Come'.

'Thy Kingdom Come' is an international and ecumenical call to prayer, for Christians to join together in the 10 days from Ascension Day to Pentecost to pray for more people to come to know Jesus Christ.

It was Jesus who taught his followers to pray 'Thy Kingdom come'. When we pray that prayer we are asking for God's rule of love, justice and peace to be made as real on earth as it is in heaven. It is not something we can pray regularly without seeing that changes need to be made, not only in the world 'out there' or in 'those people', but changes in ourselves as followers of Jesus.

One of the reasons we may find it hard to pray, or may avoid prayer, is our unwillingness to allow God to transform us to become more like Jesus, whose life on earth so perfectly embodied the values of God's kingdom. If you don't know what those values are, then take a look at the Beatitudes, from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.

Our values are often so shaped by what is accepted in the world around us that we become resistant to God's work within us. I notice this when I find my hands clasping tightly together in prayer and realise that though my mind may be saying 'thy kingdom come' my heart is saying 'but as long as you leave me undisturbed'.

The prophet Jeremiah had a vision of a potter forming a pot that became marred in his hand, so that he had to start again to create a new pot. It was a warning to a nation that had fallen into evil ways and needed to change, but also has an application for individuals. Are we willing to allow God to work as the sculptor on the self as clay relaxed in God's hands? Often I resist that work, so I found reassurance in some words from by Jean Gill, 
"Our resistance is inherent in our human nature, an essential quality of our clayness. 
When we experience resistance, we are feeling God's touch. 
It is a sign of life in our relationship with God. 
We know God is very close, inviting us to be partners in a new shaping, a new step in the ongoing process our our creation."
Jean Gill, 'Pray as you can', Ave Maria Press, p. 90

Image Credit: CCO Public Domain


  1. I am to lead a hour of prayer in Church this morning as an Thy Kingdom Come event. I'm taking nothing for granted so have some handouts about prayer based on the ACTS mnemonic as well as resources adapted from the project material.

    This will be a waiting presence, unsure of whom (or if anyone) will come, but all will be welcomed and I will than offer the various resources to assist them, if they need them. We will pray morning prayer (based on the resources provided) and will do whatever else people feel comfortable with. If they want prayer for them or their causes, we can light a candle and pray together. Who knows what will happen.

    I live in hope of a full church, but know, through experience that just being content with singletons or couples coming together is more realistic.

    God will work out what is to happen, and I will just be a welcoming, supportive presence for them. I can't imagine that more will be needed, but hope that we can offer all who come, something worthwhile to take away when they leave.

    1. Praying that the hour of prayer in your church will be blessed. 2 or 3 people is enough.


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