Sitting in the Worship Gathering at Tabor College this morning, we were introduced to a time of prayer by one of the lecturers who shared an interesting conversation he had with a student about the dichotomy he experienced in prayer. The student reflected, "With my Anglican friends we pray for the world. Whereas, with my Pentecostal friends we pray for each other." What an insightful contrast!
This immediately caused me to reflect upon my own church context, "Who do we pray for? Is the focus of our prayer others or ourselves?" Neither prayer focus is wrong, but it seems to me that one without the other is incomplete. As I extend this reflection to whom Jesus prayed for, I see no such dichotomy but a union of the two. In the model of prayer Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 6, Jesus prayed both for His kingdom and each other. In the prayer Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane in John 17, Jesus prayed for Himself, the disciples and all believers.
I have often thought that you can tell a lot about the priority of mission by what one prays for. For the whole body of Christ to effectively engage in mission we need to pray for both. We need to pray for each other and we need to pray for our world, probably more than ever before!
Who do you pray for?