Focus Article – STOP PRAYING FOR ME (Sabbath Recorder, March 2017)

SRMarch1 2017I recently returned from having the opportunity to visit with some Seventh Day Baptist brothers and sisters in the Cayman Islands. This was late January, so I was not too disappointed that I needed to visit them while the temperatures were plummeting in Rhode Island. The Caymanians were gracious and made Levi Bond and me feel as honored relatives coming for a visit.

They inquired as to the mission of our visit and we told them that the Jamaican SDB Conference had brought their work to the attention of the Missionary Society. They petitioned that we endeavor to find others to come and help in the work of building a God-glorifying ministry on Grand Cayman. They got that two “men went to spy on” Cayman and hoped that we would return with a favorable report.

While we worshiped with them, the songs they selected kept coming back to bending our knees and SRMarch 2017
surrendering our wills to God’s. I relayed to them some experiences I had in my travels where God used different means to redirect my course to better serve His will and glory. It was then that I shared that though I am appreciative of the intent of the prayers for my safe travels and praise God for His watch care over me as I journey, it is His will that I ask for them to make the primary focus of their petitions.

I recounted when I was in a van in Uganda and we ran out of gas on our way to church. Because we did not get to the place we wanted to go, there was opportunity to witness at the place in the countryside. As a result of our desires being thwarted, there is now a congregation building a new SDB chapel for worship near the spot where we rolled to a stop. I also told them about the time my plans to go to India were upset and I was forced to spend that time in South Korea. There in Seoul, I met an Indian who in turn went back to a region in India near Myanmar and started organizing Seventh Day Baptist churches.

As Jesus modeled for us, there is no problem with letting God know the desires of our hearts. It is well and good for my brethren, who love me and want me to return to my family, to pray for that end. However, our Christ also, even when He knew the path He was taking would be horrific, ultimately placed God’s best plan for His life over the desire for self-preservation

And he withdrew a little and he fell upon his face and he prayed and he said, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass by me, however not as I will, but as you will.” — Matthew 26:39

Together let us seek contentment in knowing that our Father is the wise and all-knowing God of the universe. We should be glad for the times our desires are satisfied, and glad for the times they are not.

By Clint Brown – Executive Director

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