Eugene Cho

prayer is often the first thing to go

prayer

It’s been a very busy and intense season – especially w/ the unveiling and soon launch of the grassroots poverty organization, One Day’s Wages. Not just with stuff to do but honestly, stuff on my heart and mind.  I’m not sure about you but I can acknowledge and admit that when I get busy, and my time and mind are scattered, the first thing to go is my rhythm, discipline, and joy of prayer.

I’ve been convicted of this again…particularly, in praying for the people of my church community.  The life and roles of a pastor continue to grow and evolve but one thing shouldn’t change:

Love, serve, care, and pray for your flock.  Model these things so that they do these for one another.

Questers: If you’re reading this, accept my apology for not being in faithful prayer for you these recent weeks.

With that in mind, I’m asking you a simple question in hopes that it may inspire each of us to be reminded that God hears our prayers and He often prompts us to be in prayer, care, and service for one another.

Share as little or as much as you want:

Who or what are you praying for?

Me? Well, it should be obvious. Been in prayer for numerous within our church.  Not just thinking of them but praying for them.

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7 Responses

  1. Sue says:

    I’ve been praying for my parents as they are both fairly ill. I live far away and often feel very helpless so for now, I’m praying and calling every day to let them know how much I love them.

  2. CL says:

    Thank you Pastor Eugene for this post and making yourself vulnerable.

  3. Andy says:

    I thank you too Eugene for your vulnerability. I’m guilty as charged. Currently I’m praying for an open door with those I seek to serve in the Mosaics project, for my children a lot and for resolution to our housing situation.

  4. sir jorge says:

    now this is a cool post. Prayer? I pray that someone says hello to me at church. It’s a rarity in these modern church models with hundreds and in some cases thousands of people ignoring the new comers so that they can get the best seat in the house, in case they make the webcast

  5. Linda says:

    I’m a few posts late today, so I started reading the human trafficking post and the 24 comments, before I scrolled down to this post with its 4 comments. Very interesting.

    Here are some observations from both posts:
    We get a lot more “involved” or passionate about concrete things like sex slaves than we do about prayer–though we’re often at a loss to know what to do with either.

    We’re tired of causes, we feel overwhelmed with the needs of this hurting world, and we want to be like Jesus–we want to be His hands, His Feet, even though we’re not real sure what to do. I think being overwhelmed leads to striving, scurrying, being distracted, losing the rhythms of our lives, scrambling inside…

    Sometimes we might equate praying to posting on FB or joining a cause group which makes us feel better but doesn’t really accomplish anything.

    When we decide to do something, we join causes–write emails, post on blogs. That is easier than sincere, devoted prayer.

    Eugene–you are the third pastor I’ve read this week who has written about his renewed commitment to prayer. I believe our warrior God, our beloved Savior, our powerful indweller is trying to get our attention. In challenging our leaders He is also asking them to challenge us! Thank you!

    I too am guilty of being distracted, pressured and scrambling. Yesterday I confessed, and today I took a mini prayer retreat. Do I have clarity on the things that bring pressure to my spirit? Not yet. But, those things are back in my Father’s hands and I’m not carrying the weight of this needy world on my shoulders–at least right now. I still care deeply, I still want to know what I can do to make a difference, but I am once again admitting that God is the one who will ultimately accomplish His work in and through me and you to bring His salvation, justice and mercy to our needy world.

  6. JR says:

    For me, I’ve been praying a great deal for my children. They’re growing bigger by the days so I’m really trying to bathe them in prayer.

  7. Michelle says:

    Thank you for being honest and for praying for your church…..I am praying for the country of Ukraine, it’s orphans and street children.

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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