As I prayed this morning, I realized that a common grid for prayer shows itself while I am praying. Having arranged this list in my mind, I thought it maybe helpful for your prayers too. What would happen to our world if our prayers followed these priorities?
- His soul
Life is the greatest call to self-interest. What words are more bracing than the teenage Jonathan Edwards in Resolution 22?
“Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power; might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.”
- His wife
Noah is a great man because he saved his wife and children. Where would we be had he left her outside the boat? But our Lord is greater because He paid for His bride’s passage to safety with His own blood. The most innocent distractions from a husband’s eye toward his wife’s spiritual good must be trampled on for she is a charge resting on him higher than any other outside his own soul.
- His children
That love is hate that neglects the evangelism of the children it has sired. A good man’s life and every decision in it should be influenced by the effect it will have on his children following the faith of their father.
- His posterity
A wise man encouraged me to “parent my grandchildren” before their birth. Have we no responsibility to think and plan for future generations? Deuteronomy 31 and 32 are warnings that the future generations will fall away. Then God gives them a song to sing about how quickly they leave Jehovah. If they sang such a song constantly, would they not be guarded from falling?
- His church
The body of Christ is the new family, the new nation, and the bond thicker than blood because it is bound together by the precious blood of the Lamb. As the church has been loved by the Son of God, shall we disregard it and yet be His younger brothers? Ought our joys not to be tied to the success of the church so that our hearts rise and fall with its welfare?
- His community
A good man is a good citizen. He ought to love all those with whom he lives and works. A Christian is the model citizen because of his honest, hard-working, gracious character. No one can surpass him in friendliness, kindness, and civic dependability.
- His age
By the word “age” I mean all the people alive in the world during a man’s life. The weight of the nations falls on his shoulders because the Master sends us to all the world, to every ethnicity, and to cross all boundaries of culture, language, and geography. This last category should be the most costly since the scope reaches all around the globe. It is a marvel to me that with all the mature churches in South Africa, I have not heard much talk about sending missionaries, giving money, or praying for the nations of the world. Some pastors and assemblies certainly do emphasize missions, but my experience tells me that this is a shocking neglect among nearly all established churches.