During prayer time at church, we focus on the safety, success, and health of our loved ones, and it’s usually a rather lengthy list of children, parents, siblings, cousins, neighbors, longtime friends, and fellow church members. We express thanks for their good fortune and achievements and more often we’re anxious about their welfare.
Now turn it around and think about God’s concerns
What does God care about? Look through the scriptures and see that he is concerned for the poor, the children, and the elderly. He cares for the suffering and the ones we often write off as unimportant.
Just as we bring our concerns to him, he shares his concerns with us.
“I’m worried about my child.” I say.
“I’m worried about the child that no one sees. There is probably one on the street you live on.”
“I’m worried about my finances.” I share.
“I’m worried about the person who will die today because he is starving. For that matter I’m worried about the family that lives within a block of you that didn’t eat today.”
“Please watch over my nephew who was arrested last night.”
“Please consider the man who was arrested for worshipping me.”
“Protect our youth group while they’re on their band/athletic/church mission trip.”
“Help the innocent who are caught in the violence of war.”
Okay, I don’t really think God is trying to play a game where he trumps our every request. I think he cares for the things that affect us personally. But I think he wishes that we showed a bit more concern for the people he cares about.
Here’s a challenge: When you pray, ask God what’s on his mind today. See where that leads you.