A word from Richard 


YOUR world or THE world

If God answered all my prayers over the last 6 months, would my life be changed or the world be changed?

That’s a challenging thought. What might change because I pray? What might not change because I don’t pray?

And if I pray, what do I pray for?

Usually, it’s those things and people that matter to me, but perhaps my focus should be more on what matters to God.

This is all challenging stuff, whether you pray or not. If you don’t pray much, much may not happen in your life or the world. If you pray often, then … perhaps you already see the hand of our Heavenly Father at work.

If I’m honest, many of my prayers are for family, friends and church related matters – those immediate needs, concerns and loves that press upon me day by day.

Yet in what is probably Paul’s earliest letter, 1 Thessalonians, he invites his readers to “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess 5:16-18).

And yes of course, I do know our Heavenly Father wants me to bring all my concerns and requests to him – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matt 7:7) – and then I see that He answers my prayers, blessing me and giving me the grace to cope with all the challenges of living for Him day by day.

He cares for me and He cares for you. He cares for my family and He cares for your family and friends. He answers my prayers and He answers your prayers.

But back to my original question: If God answered all my prayers over the last 6 months, would my life be changed or the world be changed?

Ultimately, I believe that our Lord is longing for each of us to lift our eyes, mind and heart above our own selves and concerns, to look out to a world in need, a world hurting, a world lost without Jesus.

Yes, I do pray for myself, my family and my concerns. Our Lord longs that we should also pray for His world, His family, His concerns, that the poor in spirit, those who mourn and those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will have their lives touched by the power and presence of our Heavenly Father.

I pray that you will join me in praying for our Lord’s concerns as much as for your own, so that our prayers not only bring change to our lives but also bring change to the world.