I don’t usually ask God for His prayer requests. But this morning, as it turns out, I didn’t need to. Here’s what happened.
After reading my Bible this morning, I began to pray, which is my usual routine. I started with one of the Top Three items on my prayer list—one of the things I’ve been praying about for a very long time. To be honest, I was a bit peevish about it. I didn’t actually say this to God, but I was wondering why other people seemed to be getting answers to prayers similar to mine, but I wasn’t. Anyhow, as I in this mood and starting to pray, I was interrupted.
That’s not a high priority for Me right now, God seemed to say in my spirit. His tone of voice was gentle but firm. It wasn’t a rebuke or a criticism, just the stating of a fact.
I was surprised. But before I even had time to ask “What is a high priority for You? images of people around the world whom I’d never met filled my mind’s eye. I recognized that some of them were people being helped by ministries and missionaries I follow. God wanted me to pray for them!
So I did—with joy. I was a little surprised, actually, how much joy I felt at praying for people in India, Peru, Kenya, Guatemala, and Nepal—people I don’t actually know, but whom matter deeply to God. It was a good prayer time. And to my surprise, I felt peace about the things I left unprayed—my Top Three.
As I pondered my experience later in the day, I had a lot of questions. Was God tired of my Top Three? Were my prayer requests too self-focused? Was God trying to teach me something about the way I do intercession? Will the same thing happen tomorrow? Or is it okay for me to go back to my regular prayer routine?
I don’t receive answers to all those questions. But the Holy Spirit brought a familiar verse to mind. You probably know it too. It’s Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
I’m not sure if this is what God is saying to me or not, but I think maybe it could be: If I make God’s concerns mine, then He will make mine His. Couldn’t that be what Matthew 6:33 is saying? So maybe when I pray tomorrow, I might start by saying, “God, do You have any prayer requests?”