Praying as the Lord Teaches – Your Will Be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven

Editor’s note: Over the past years, China Partnership has dedicated itself to intentional prayer for the church in China. As CP increasingly emphasizes prayer as part of our calling, we have worked with John Smed of Prayer Current to hone our prayer muscles. He shared this urgent call to prayer with Chinese leaders and pastors at a recent gathering. The following has been edited from transcriptions of the original talk.

Prayer transports you to the throne room of Christ. You do not live here. I know it sounds strange, but by faith we read in the Bible that we live somewhere else. Colossians 3:3 says, “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” In Colossians 1:12, we read that he has “transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son!” Ephesians 2:6 says, God “raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus said in John 17:24, “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.” You are in the throne room, but faith is awakened to realization by prayer. When you approach God in prayer, you ascend in prayer and realize you are already in the throne room. Your eyes are opened and you realize, “I am a resident with the king.” This is the answer to Jesus’ prayer [for those who belong to him].

Let me illustrate the difference it makes. A few weeks ago, I was flying into Toronto. We were at 35,000 feet and I looked down. I saw clouds all over and I said to the man beside me, “Look! It’s overcast in Toronto.” He smiled and looked at me and said, “No! It’s under-cast.” If you are at 35,000 feet, you are above the clouds. You are not living life on the surface below the clouds.

In prayer, you ascend above the clouds, above troubles and pain and sorrow. The clouds are there, but you are above them, in the presence of Christ. When you don’t pray, life is overcast. All you can see is clouds and pollution. When you pray, God lifts you above and you see the light of his glory.


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Not only does prayer transport the believer to the throne room, but there is more. We share Jesus’ ascension power and authority. Jesus rules heaven and earth. But you know what? He is not selfish, and he shares his rule with you. When you bow your knees in prayer, you enter the power and authority of Christ. Listen to what Paul says in Colossians 2:10: “You have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.”

Here is what happened. Jesus disarmed all rulers and authorities. Colossians 2:15 says, “He disarmed [them] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them.” Christ rules everything. What many believers do not realize is that we rule with him right now. He did not conquer with swords, guns, and missiles. He does not wage war that way. He rules with prayer, with love, and with sacrifice.

Listen! Revelation 5:10 says, “You have made them a kingdom and priest to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” This is not just heaven; his ascension power and glory is ours now.

Let me tell you how a Roman war worked. Before modern communication technology, the king came with his great army and fought the other army in a field battle. After defeating all his enemies, he would make the other generals kneel before him. He would put his foot on their neck, indicating they were vanquished and were in subjection. Then he would send messengers on horses to every realm in that kingdom, saying: “This is a new kingdom. You have a new king. Be prepared. He is coming. Bow your knees before him, or you will be destroyed like that army.” Then, how did the king execute his rule? He said to one of his generals, “You take five cities.” He said to another, “You take ten cities.”

The king shares his power and authority, delegating his rule to his servants. The present rule and reign of Christ is enacted as we pray. Ephesians 1:19-22 says it all: I pray you will know “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

Paul is effectively saying, “I want you to know the immeasurable greatness of Christ’s power at work in you now, because Jesus has ascended! Prayer is about ascension power.”

In response, let us say, “Lord, we know you have ascended. Lord, I believe I am in the throne room with you. We want to receive your power and your authority for your purposes. Amen!”

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Further Reading

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The Internal Cross: A Pastoral Letter
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The External Cross: A Pastoral Letter
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Qingdao: How to Pray
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LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

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ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

About Shenyang

Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

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Stories from Shenyang

About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

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Stories from Qingdao

About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

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Stories from Xiamen

About Chongqing

Chongqing is a city located in southwestern China and is a major economic center in the region. The city is known for its spicy cuisine, especially its hot pot dishes, and is also famous for the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Chongqing is also home to several historic sites, including the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

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Stories from Chongqing

About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

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Stories from Nanjing

About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.

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Stories from Changchun

About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

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Stories from Guangzhou

About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

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Stories from Kunming

About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.

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About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 

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Stories from Chengdu

About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.

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About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

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