A heart for All people, In All places

This morning as I picked the newspaper up off the front steps, I saw the bold word IRAQ peering at me from the front page. And immediately I thought, "Why wouldn't I, or someone, make habit of reading the articles and praying over the involved individuals/groups?"

Closing the door to the cold and heading for the living room chair, my question was quickly answered with the comforting realization that such prayers must be reserved for someone there, experiencing that first hand.

I mean, seriously let's be real, how far can one prayer go? No, Really... How far? I 'm asking. I think about this. And I think about this God that is said to exist outside my comfortably insular friends Space and Time. Does this God take a look at google maps, and decide, "Nope. Sorry. You've violated your 25 mile prayer perimeter. Keep it closer to home next time, bud. And choose things that revolve exclusively around you and your world!"

Come on.

What separates our experienced realities? Today, nothing more than money spent and a plane ride taken keep me from the experience of Rwanda, the streets of Baghdad, or the pain of New Orleans. Only a few short hours. Our world is small, very small. So in effect, what I see/experience/feel the need to pray for, is dictated by what I allow in to my life, or choose to be exposed to. In my priveledged world of affluence, I've been given the perceived luxury of turning my eyes off to the realities I wish not to see.

So As I spend money freely in large or small quantities (and especially when I spend it on "me" experiences), I owe just as much responsibility to what I saw as what I did not see.

A prayer for the distant war in the distant land is just as near, just as real, as the prayer for the spouce sleeping next to you, the best-friend, brother, or coworker. These prayers are just as vital, just as impactful, just as necessary as any other. These prayers are so very real and looming with potential.

Prayer's transcendent nature is not only that it may change the world immediately around me; but that it may seriously alter and influence the broader surrounding world- A world I do not even know or even experience. Prayer is interacting with the whole world. By faith we're brought in as participants on a level far beyond our perceived spheres of influence, far beyond reasonable proximics; where God's presence in my life becomes about so many others, far beyond myself.

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