Eugene Cho

who are you praying for?

I want to invite you to prayer.

Let’s pray together – and especially for others.  Would you mind sharing – as little or as much as you want – who or what comes to mind in response to the question. I’m asking this question because while it’s certainly good, appropriate and necessary to pray for yourself, there’s also something very beautiful and life-giving about praying for others.

Who are you praying for? Why?

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 spiritual rhythm and discipline – but especially ‘Prayer.’

What’s the remedy?

It’s not just merely “doing prayer” but being reminded, humbled, and encouraged to know that “others” are praying for you. This is why I was so encouraged and convicted by this email I received from someone I have never met:

Hi Eugene,

I wanted to tell you on Sunday I was praying for you and it was rather cool. As I was praying, I got a picture of a marathon in my mind. Seeing this marathon made me think about how at the beginning of a race many people are cheering runners on. And then of course, at the end of the race, there are always people shouting, clapping and thrilled at the runners achievement. However, in the middle – the long race – there aren’t a lot of people to cheer you on, or even beside you. I was praying that you would feel Jesus beside you.

I hope this encourages you.

Pretty amazing and encouraging indeed.

For me (this week), I’m committing myself to prayer for the following two things:

  • For the family of Nate Henn and the entire Invisible Children community. Nate was one of the 77 victims of a terrorist attack earlier this week in Kampala, Uganda. Henn was killed by an explosion that ripped through a rugby field where hundreds of people had gathered to watch the final match of the World Cup.
  • I’m praying for the 80 children and 28 leaders that are gathering this week (Tuesday-Saturday) at Quest Church for our annual Kids Camp around the theme of “ReNew: Grow in Faith. Have Fun. Change the World.”

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23 Responses

  1. TIC says:

    Thinking of the four friends who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus on a mat, lowering him through the roof, I bring my unsaved friends to Jesus even when they can’t bring themselves. As Jesus saw the friends’ faith, I know he sees my less than a mustard seed sized faith.

    • Andrea says:

      That is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. It has become more of a reality or revelation to me in the last two years or so. Even one of my professors spoke on that passage and made me have a deeper understanding and realization of what it means to carry someone. I have now prayed that I would be one who carries people to Jesus. I know there are people who have carried me!

  2. Aaron says:

    Praying for the city of Los Angeles…definitely sensing the move of the Spirit and praying for God’s love, peace and hope to be found, felt and present.

  3. Chris says:

    I am praying for my wife right now. She is the Kids Ministry Director at our church and I’ve got three letters for you; V B S. So yeah she is quite stressed and being stretched in many different directions. It’s all worth it though. The hearts and minds of many little ones are being directed toward Jesus this week.

  4. your friend says:

    As I was praying for a sister in Christ in another part of the world, God prompted her to humble herself and repent over pride. AT THE SAME TIME, she prayed for me and God prompted me to humble myself and repent over pride, too!

    Later we shared together and we found out that God moved in our hearts the SAME time with the SAME issue.

    The result? Greater effectiveness in God’s service!

  5. Annah says:

    I have become aware of how often I would say to someone, after hearing their tales of woe, “I’ll pray for you”. It had become so automatic a response that it meant nothing. As I couldn’t remember all the times the phrase was uttered there was no way I could remember them in prayer. So I’ve been working on not just throwing the line out there. Unless I fully intend to follow through with the promise.

    Who am I praying for at the moment? My 14 year old nephew. He is learning how to deal with his new diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.

    (And no, it’s not obesity related! Sorry, but there’s been so much talk about juvenile diabetes in the news lately – relating to an unhealthy lifestyle that it just upsets me)

  6. Janice Nguyen says:

    I am always praying for Pastors, Israel, friends and family.

    Annah, like you I always say I’m praying for you.. and I pray for that person right then and there..

  7. Teresa says:

    Isaac (a soldier), church planters here and elsewhere (risking a lot to follow the call), pastors (to not grow weary in well-doing), refugee parents, friends living out their calling in all kinds of places, elderly parents

  8. Leah says:

    I’m currently praying for an “enemy”–a former friend who did some very hurtful things to me that even three years later I still have some pretty serious resentments about. My husband and I were discussing her and the situation she caused last week and he suggested that I needed to pray for her happiness every day until I can forgive her. At first I told him he must be crazy but I couldn’t get his suggestion out of my head so I’m giving it a try. Still doing it pretty grudgingly but I hope eventually if I stay faithful to this it will heal my heart.

    • thenaborhood says:

      For what it’s worth, my parents went through a pretty ugly divorce a few years ago. During the entire process, my dad handled himself extremely poorly and I was really angry and disappointed in him. His words and actions were pretty terrible. It occurred to me one day that I should start praying for him instead of stewing in my anger. It is extremely difficult to stay angry at someone you are sincerely praying for daily.

      A while later, I realized that I had truly forgiven him and that my heart had been healed. It was a pretty subtle healing process for me. We hang out from time to time and we are on great terms. I think you are really on the right track Leah. I’ve heard it said that “Unforgiveness is the poison we drink to get back at someone else.”

      • Leah says:

        Thanks for the encouragement. It’s still really hard for me to pray for her (but then again I’m only 4 days into this little experiment) but I am trying to carry on with it in hope that it will bring healing to the situation. It helps to hear that someone has been successful in a similar endeavor.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      leah:

      wow. thanks for sharing that. couldn’t get it out of my mind yesterday. thanks for the honesty.

  9. Jeff says:

    I’m praying for:
    1) Chicago’s schools and leadership, that all kids could have an equal opportunity for a quality education regardless
    2) Our daughter and how to help her re-enter a formal school environment after experiencing severe bullying last year
    3) Chicago’s churches, that there would be unity and collaboration amoungst the body in helping people find their way back to God, whether a new plant or an existing presence

  10. As a husband I pray for/thank God for my Rachel.

    As a father of 6 (9 years old and younger) I am always praying for my kids. And I refer back to #1 pray for my Rachel.🙂

    As a Youth Pastor I pray for the Youth of our nation.

    As an American I pray for our leaders.

    As a sinner I pray for grace.

    As a Child of God, Heir to the throne I pray words of thanks and humility.

  11. Daniel D says:

    My wife and I have been working with the youth at our church and the next two weeks we will be out of state to visit her family. While we are gone I commit to pray for the youth in our church…that they will keep their spiritual motivation high…that they will continue to attend church services, get into their Word, pray and seek God with an earnestness that borders on desperation (Jer 29:11-13).

    And I also commit to pray for my church leadership…that they experience the peace of God that surpasses all understanding as they tell a dying world about a living God.

    • Daniel D says:

      P.S. Last night at youth I talked to them about prayer and then I check out this blog and what’s the post about? The same thing! Isn’t amazing how God confirms things in our lives?

  12. […] And I also commit to pray for my church leadership…that they experience the peace of God that surpasses all understanding as they tell a dying world about a living God. I want to invite you to prayer. Let’s pray together – and especially for others.  Would you mind sharing – as little or as much as you want – who or what comes to mind in response to the question. I'm asking this question because while it's certainly good, appropriate and necessary to pray for yourself, there's also something very beautiful and life-giving about praying for others. Who are you praying for? Why? I’m not sure about you but I can ac … Read More […]

  13. Andrew says:

    It has been such a blessing. I have recently moved to a new state and I know my friends are praying for me. It really helps my heart with this difficult transition. I have also been praying for God to use my new home, though it is empty with things to be filled with people… Hopefully the people will come soon. It is getting pretty lonely.

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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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