Sacrifice of Prayer

September 13th, 2010


Genesis 4:1-7

“Thrust to the city!” the Swazi leader shouted. She described spiritual-hungry people living in a distant land called “Chicago.” As she spoke of congregations meeting in theaters and storefronts, I sat with a congregation on grass mats under a metal roof balanced on poles. As she talked about the difficulties finding property, I recalled theaters with cushioned seats and stores with central air and heat. I knew it was right to pray for Chicago, but I had no desire.

As others prayed earnestly for Chicago, I sighed and prayed for the Chicago prayer to end. My prayer was tainted with selfishness, and God did not accept it. God spoke of spiritual-hungry people in Chicago, in Manila, in Hong Kong, and cities around the world. Finally, I began praying for the right reasons, and I was able to pray for the far-off place called “Chicago.”

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