This past Sunday I visited the mountains so I was not able to attend GraceWay. But I was able to visit a friend’s church instead. The month of November was/is missions month for this church, and they have had people visiting. The man who visited preached out of John 17. I have always been very fond of this chapter of the gospel of John. You can imagine with the entire chapter being a prayer what the sermon’s emphasis was upon. Prayer. He began to speak of boxes of prayer request and their contents. What he spoke of was true of nearly every time prayer request are taken in church. Physical needs. God is truly concerned with our physical needs. Jesus spent much of his ministry healing people, and the apostles likewise in the Acts. The church doesn’t pray like Jesus prayed in John 17. Aunt Suzie’s toe always seems to take precedence over her lost soul.
As I was sitting in the pew I was reminded of a couple very dear to my family. They were North American church planters for as long as I’ve known them, and before I was born. There names were Sarah and Buddy Taylor. We affectionately called them Aunt Sarah and Uncle Buddy. They’ve been of the greatest inspiration to me, they never ceased to to pray in all circumstances for all people. But last year Sarah was diagnosed with cancer and it hit hard and fast. She was put in the hospital and then hospice shortly afterwards. But what I’ll never forget about Sarah and Buddy was the way they handled it. They prayed for healing if that were to be in the will of God. But they did their best to make the most of the cancer for the sake of the gospel. The woman who had once been in the spot of the hospital volunteer washing the hair of patients was having her hair washed. The one who seemed to be the one needing the most prayer was trying to pray for others. I pray that the prayers of the church could be radically transformed through communion with Christ Jesus.