Praying for the Future

We often pray for the future. In fact, probably nearly all our requests are for the future. Yet mostly it's the short-term future we have in mind.  We pray for someone from church to find a job (with the assumption that it will be soon). We pray for the success of an evangelistic event (usually meaning that people will get saved that day).  My students pray to pass their exams (and it's not the resits next year that they have in mind).  We like instant answers, and so often we pray prayers that we think can get instant, or at least quick responses.

However, our prayers for the future don't need to be for the short-term future.  God can use our prayers in the present for the distant future. After all, He is the Eternal God, the creator of time, and 'a thousand ages in [His] sight are but an evening gone, short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun'.

In Old Testament times His saints prayed for the coming of the Messiah, yet for many of them this prayer was not answered until hundreds or even thousands of years later.  God answers prayers in the future.

We can pray for the distant future intentionally too. If we can pray for missionaries on the other side of the world from whom we are separated in space, we can pray for those from whom we are separated in time. If we can pray for the king, as Scripture instructs us, but whom we do not know (I for one have not been round to the palace lately for tea with King Albert), that means we can pray for those whom we will not know.  God can use our prayers for the future.

We can pray now for the future of churches and denominations, not just the next 50 weeks, but the next 50 years (if the Lord be not come) or even the next 500! We can pray that they continue to preach the Gospel faithfully.  We can pray that they will remain firmly attached to His Word.  We can pray that they will continue to glorify Christ. In this way we can be a blessing to those who come long after us.

I'm going to pray for the future of my assembly, my denomination and my seminary. May God continue to use them and be glorified in and through them throughout the generations to come.