This summer while being off, I’ve had the joy of just sitting down early in the morning and thinking. I actually think sometimes. I thought about how wonderful it is to experience the clear move of Jesus in my life. The experience of having Jesus intervene in my affairs is nothing short of joyful and amazing. The testimonies that He’s given me over the years have been indelibly etched in my heart and spirit. Whenever He moves in my life or in the lives of others, it’s just an amazing thing and a magnificent statement on His part that I am His and that He is constantly affirming His love for me.
I thank God for the fact that He supplies all of my needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus. In Him I have everything. He is my provider & protector. He opens and closes doors for me. In addition, He is constantly at work in me perfecting the good work that He began in me when He saved me. When I pray often times He withholds in order to guide me, strengthen me, help me think according to His will, perfect my faith and transform me more into His will. Other times he comes through instantly and in a way that I know for certain it was him. He gives me all things pertaining to life and godliness. In Christ Jesus I have so much for which I am truly grateful. For months now I’ve been praying and petitioning God for a number of PERSONAL things. As I was meditating on the many prayer requests that I have I began to think about where the central focus of my prayers are. The central focus of my prayers are for the THINGS that I want and “NEED.” During this contemplation, I thought about the prayer requests I have for the unsaved people around me and my requests for opportunities to share the gospel. They were not very many. Then I just sort of surveyed the many requests that we have for ourselves and our loved ones. While nothing is wrong with any of these prayer requests, it’s interesting that I’ve not concentrated my prayers on opportunities to share the gospel, to see certain people saved, or for visitors in the church coming to know Jesus, to the same fervor and consistency that I’ve asked for things. It hit me that my thoughts are so “ME” focused that somehow I may have lost the fervor and joy of seeing Christ save people. As upset as I presently am about the degradation of our culture, and believe me I am very upset, wouldn’t it seem reasonable that I would be praying for lost souls as hard as I pray for things pertaining to my life? Paul said pray for me that a door would be opened to share the gospel. Jesus came from heaven into the world to save sinners. My point is this. In analyzing my own personal prayer life the focus has been predominantly me, what make things better for me and very little missions.
If God answered all of my prayer requests right now most all the things that I’ve asked for are temporary. Only people and the things that we do for Him will count for eternity. Please understand that my requests are legitimate (I think). Some are real needs and some are just wants. So then how does the gospel address this prayer dilemma in which I’ve found myself? Because of what God has done for us in Christ Jesus and He has called us and made us missionaries, then my fervor for praying for people to be saved and to be used by Him to see people saved should be just as great. So then how should I pray thinking about who I am in light of what God has done for me in Christ Jesus? I can still pray for those personal things. However, there should be an overwhelming passion growing inside me by God’s grace to see and be involved in seeing people come to know Jesus. I should be praying for the salvation of people. For me, I want and need live out my identity in Christ Jesus as a missionary. My prayers should also be focused on this as well and at least as much as all of my other personal prayer requests. Now then, what am I to do because of who Jesus is, the savior of the world? What am I to do (in praying) because of what God has done for me in Christ Jesus? How should I be praying in light of who I am, a missionary? Pray for the salvation of others. Therefore I need a list of people in my immediate sphere of influence. Pray for the unexpected opportunities therefore I need to always be ready to give an answer of the reason of the hope we have in Jesus. Pray for the grace to share.
Why did I feel that it was necessary to share with you what’s in my head and heart. If you analyzed the focus of my prayer requests, those of your own life and even in your MC group, your analogy may be similar to mine. Don’t stop praying for what you need and desire but do increase the intensity of your desire and requests to see people saved and to be used by God in the identity He gave you as a missionary. Sometimes the things in life and the tribulations of life can divert us to the real meaning and focus of life, to know Him, to worship Him, and to live in eternity with Him. While we have Jesus others do not. They cannot ever know the joy of our salvation or the hope that we have in Him unless they come to know Him. How can they hear without a preacher (missionary, you)? How can we preach unless someone is sent (goes)?
Let one of the focus of your prayers be for the salvation of people around you and opportunities to share the gospel.