By Bruce Schlenke
You know the pitch, and it’s a good one: “Please donate to the ABC Ministry or Community Charity before the end of the week, and your gift will be matched by the XYZ Foundation.” I suggest that we believers use a similar resource-enhancing method in our prayers. For each prayer and/or prayer request that we make, let us offer a matching request.
My own prayers, when I think about it objectively, are very often selfish and quite self-centered. Me,
my sins, my family, my plans, my friends, my church -- consume the vast majority of my prayer efforts. I know God loves me, has a wonderful plan for my life, and will never leave me nor forsake me. But there is more than just “me.” More than “we.” Much and many more.
We are God’s servants for ministry to others. God has saved us, created us “in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2: 8, 9 & 10) That certainly includes my prayers. (Yes, it is amazing that God knows the very number of hairs on my head; but it’s truly amazing that he knows the same stats about seven billion other people. My head is not the only one ….)
Let us participate in equal opportunity prayers. For each prayer or prayer request we make for our own personal life and circle, let us offer prayer for a person, or imperiled people, or ministry, or nation, or world hot-spot apart from ourselves but equally beloved by God. Be sure to include the little, habitual ones like meal grace, bedtime prayers and those quick “help me” prayers. And then perhaps we will find that our whole Christian perspective of things begins to more fully reflect the matchless gift of Jesus the Christ.
(You may also want to check out the 12th chapter of Romans with its focus on the renewed mind in Christ, and the servant’s heart for others, including verse 12, “faithfulness in prayer”.)