With everything going on in the world today, how should we pray for it all? How do we make a difference in others’ lives when we can barely manage our own?
I came to realize some time ago that the things we see in our world today have always been going on. Just read the Old Testament. Years ago, it could take some time for news to travel and when it was made known at an individual level, it could be weeks after the event was done and over with. Today, we see lives impacted worldwide almost instantaneously, but these things have always been prevalent though not as easily publicized until recent years. Though I will admit, things do look more and more like “birth pangs”, this isn’t a foremost concern for me when focusing on Jesus. Likewise, I will not resort to stating things like “the end is near” based on my human observations of the world. My human limitations cannot comprehend God’s grand plan or his timing.
However, the question still remains–how do we pray for everything going on in the world today?
Again, I have to look to Jesus. During his three years of public ministry, he only traveled about 50 miles from his hometown, yet he had the biggest impact the world has ever seen. I’m sure he was aware of other situations in the world, but he doesn’t seem to focus as much on those things. Even the physical events that were transpiring where he lived and ministered weren’t a priority for him. He was focused on the individuals who Father had placed him near.
We see several examples of how and why Jesus prayed. Foremost, he prayed to align his will to Father’s. Most of our prayers today are not to align our will to Father’s, but to get what we want (and when we want it) and punish our enemies.
Jesus prayed that Father’s will be done regardless of how he felt. He states this in the Lord’s Prayer and in the garden when he was sweating blood. Likewise, Jesus tells us to not only pray for our enemies but even bless and do good to them!
Still, with everything going on, how can we possible do all of this? Like Jesus, we are to reach out to those closest to us. We may be called to say a prayer for certain people in distance lands, but when we align our will to Father’s, we are enabled to reach out to those right where we are. Additionally, we can trust that Jesus can reach those foreign to us through his church there. When we are led to try to “intercede” for the entire world, we become drained and can miss those we can reach right next to us because of the “bigger” issues going on elsewhere. God has a plan and he has placed us exactly where he wants us for his will to be done. Likewise, he will lead us to where he wants us to be if he has something for us to do in another part of the world.
I have the desire to focus on those God has placed me near in life and can trust in him to handle the other issues and reach those affected.