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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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

my tweets

  • To support both the equality of women & the dignity of the unborn feels like a very lonely place to be but we're not alone. May we press on. || 19 minutes ago
  • Going to the Women's March in Seattle bc as a Christian, I believe women are fearfully and wonderfully made and are to be heard & respected. || 3 hours ago
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