Friday, September 7, 2012

On Praying for Others

In Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? Philip Yancey says:
Frank Laubach, the founder of the modern literacy movement and a missionary to the Philippines, describes how he sought to pray for everyone he met, keeping an undercurrent of prayer going throughout his busy day. "One need not tell God everything about the people for whom one prays," he said. "Holding them one by one steadily before the mind and willing that God may have His will with them is the best, for God knows better than we what our friends need, yet our prayer releases His power, we know not how." 
Laubach applied the same principle to people who lived beyond the circle of acquaintances, to world leaders he would never meet. After all, the New Testament commands prayer for such people. According to Laubach, we would accomplish more for the world by praying faithfully than by walking into the White House or Whitehall or the Kremlin with suggestions. Our personal advice would most likely be misguided, but prayer for leaders summons an invisible spiritual force that can have real effects -- not by persuading God to try harder, but by persuading the leaders to try harder.

Isn't this what it means when the apostle Paul admonishes us to "pray without ceasing" -- to hold everything up to God, everyone who comes to our minds or comes across our paths to God, to let the mind of Christ be in us as we go through our days?

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