What is the focus of your prayers?

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living©

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle–I am telling the truth, I am not lying–and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.
(1 Timothy 2:1-7 (NIV))

Something struck me about this passage as I read it this evening, so much so that I had to read the first sentence many times over.

What is it that you pray for?

Do you pray for things that only concern you? If that is the case, what is the criteria for deciding if it concerns you? Do you pray for family and friends? Are we not all part of God’s family and everyone can qualify to be a friend that we haven’t met yet? Do you pray for the actions of others, such as government officials, that may have an impact on your life? Don’t these same people have an impact on a multitude of lives in the very same manner that they impact yours? Do you pray for God’s guidance and His grace in winning over the hearts of your enemies so that you may not be in fear of what these enemies will do? Do you pray for the victims of catastrophes even when they are not people whom you know? Do you pray for those who go without simply because you feel the pain that they must be going through? Do you pray for God to bring His Kingdom to this world so that sin and suffering will cease? Do you pray for those who do not know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior because you cannot stand the thought of anyone perishing?

We are taught to pray for God’s Will to be done first, then to pray for others, and then to pray for our own needs. How many of us actually do it in this manner? We tend to pray outward for we have placed ourselves as the center of our own little universe. Very few of us, including myself, can stayed focused so that we place God at the center at all times. Even when we place ourselves at the center, we rarely make it outside our immediate circle of influence when we pray.

Pray is a wonderfully powerful thing. Prayer is just like any tool in that in the right hands it can be the catalyst for wonderful things. In the wrong hands, or the wrong intentions and priorities, it can be of little use. We must all learn to pray for the things that are of God, for these things are a blessing to all.

“This, then, is how you should pray:
” `Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. ‘
(Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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