Friday, 29 October 2010

Being specific - Ten of One Thousand

Whilst it is true that followers of Jesus are to have an attitude of thankfulness in "all circumstances", there is a danger that our thankfulness becomes too general and not focussed. Once our prayers lose focus the next step is to ask ourselves, "Is there any point or need to pray that, or something similar again? God has already heard my request and I know he already wills that that it be so, so there is no need to keep waffling about it."
To put it another way, it is hard (although not impossible) to be diligent about something which we can't relate to a specific purpose. Surely this is one of the first subtle barriers to praying "without ceasing". If we accept that it is already hard enough to be persevering in prayer, any steps we can take to aid us should be adopted with enthusiasm.

The other danger is that our thanks are quite specific but only relate to our own particular situation. We are to be thankful for good gifts which benefit others too.
The Bible gives us specific things for which to be thankful, so let's use them to aid us in persevering prayer which also includes a worldwide view.

Here is one:
Thank God for the faith seen in other believers and for their love for one another. We see this prayer offered in several of the letters of the New Testament. Who have I heard of recently for whom this is true - both at home or in the worldwide church?

And so ten more of one thousand:

31. for the women in our study group who are growing in faith and hunger for the truth and their genuine love and service for one another
32. for the faithful teaching and prayers of the one who rallies us each week
33. for a couple recently married who are battling circumstances to keep on showing love in a difficult situation
34. for the evidence of faith and love at the Lausanne Congress a few weeks ago
35. for a son getting better after many bouts of sickness in the night
36. for snatched moments of sleep inbetween changing sheets and pyjamas
37. for a servant hearted husband who was so helpful with the above
38. for a sister's birthday and the fun she enjoyed with friends
39. for the visit of my little sister and time for the children to enjoy their Auntie's company
40. for the gift of grace which means we can enjoy these simple pleasures

holy experience