In Bible Study the other week, we had a question that asked: Do you feel as responsible to pray for the nation and society as you do for self, friends, and church? We each answered the question with a, “yes.” But when the question was followed up with: what percentage of our prayer time is spent on that concern versus the others, the best we thought it might be would be 20% – 80%, with many indicating the percentage is much lower, perhaps as low as 1% – 99%.
I find it interesting to note that I do not spend as much time praying for our national and world conditions as I should. It got me to wondering: why is that? My pondering centered around two challenges: Do I not pray about world issues because I am cynical about the issues and think my prayers may not do much good? Or do I not pray about national and world concerns because I am too ‘locally focused’?
Realizing that the answer to such pondering was primarily a yes to both challenges, this troubles me a bit. It troubles me to think that I have sometimes such a limited perspective on prayer. I know and believe the phrase from James 5:16 that tells us: “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” So I realize (especially with that first concern) that I need to correct that cynical thought about my prayers for the world at large not having an impact.
Which takes me to the second challenge of being too locally focused. I understand that I am more locally focused because of a few factors. Locally is where I live and I have seen the power of prayer work effectively in local situations. So it can be easier to pray about local matters. This however, does not excuse us from praying for the world. If anything, it should make us realize all the more the value and power of prayer.
It is my hope that this month you will pray, both from your issues of daily living and that you will spend more time praying for world conditions and concerns.