By John Piper and Tom Steller
"In wartime, prayer takes on a different significance. It becomes a wartime walkie-talkie and no longer a domestic intercom. Jesus said to his disciples, "You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, in order that whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he may give to you” (John 15:16).
Notice the amazing logic of this verse. He gave them a mission “in order that” the Father would have prayers to answer. This means that prayer is for mission. It is designed to advance the kingdom. That’s why the Lord’s Prayer begins by asking God to see to it that his name be hallowed and that his kingdom come.
James warned about the misuse of prayer as a domestic intercom to call the butler for another pillow. He said, “You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:2-3).
Prayer is always kingdom oriented. Even when we pray for healing and for help, it is that that the kingdom purposes of God in the world may advance. Otherwise we have turned a wartime walkie-talkie into a domestic intercom.
Let us pray with the apostle Paul, “that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be glorified” (2 Thessalonians 3:1)."
This article is from the Desiring God Resource Library, "Driving Convictions Behind Foreign Missions," January 1, 1996, By John Piper and Tom Steller