Prayin’ with Paul pt2
In my last post I suggested a new way of praying to avoid shallow, individualistic prayers. But then it got me thinking, how can we still pray for our own needs, desires and problems, but in a good way? Is there a way of making ‘Lord please give me a better job’ or ‘Please help me with my finances’ into prayers that glorify God and aimed at furthering his kingdom?
Charlie Fletcher, the new head of the Global Missions learning stream at Ridley College, and recent missionary to Mexico, preached at chapel on Tuesday morning and answered my question perfectly. He preached on Psalm 67 which starts with:
1May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us,
2that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Charlie showed us from this passage how our prayers for God’s blessing on our lives can be put into the context of God’s global mission. He used an example from his own life of renting a new house. His prayer for a new house could quite easily have been ‘God, please give me a new house’. But this prayer is transformed by this Psalm, and becomes ‘God, please give me a new house, so that I might use it for hospitality, which might be a blessing to others, which might help to grow your kingdom.’
So in small groups, as well as in our personal prayer lives, we can pray big, global prayers for the world, mission, the Church, and social justice, but we can also pray for the little or big things in our lives while still keeping in mind the Big Picture of God’s kingdom purposes.