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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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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