I too had noticed that our prayers for others flow more easily than those we
offer on our own behalf. And it would be nice to accept your view that this
just shows we are made to live by charity. I'm afraid, however, I detect two
much less attractive reasons for the ease of my own intercessory prayers.
One is that I am often, I believe, praying for others when I should be doing
things for them. It's so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see
him. And the other is like unto it. Suppose I pray that you may be given
grace to withstand your besetting sin (short list of candidates for this post
will be forwarded on demand). Well, all the work has to be done by God and
you. If I pray against my own besetting sin there will be work for me. One
sometimes fights shy of admitting an act to be a sin for this very reason.
- C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), LETTERS TO MALCOLM: CHIEFLY ON PRAYER, Harcourt
Brace Jovanovich, 1964.
[This insight from Lewis shouldn't discourage us from praying earnestly for
others in their need; rather, it should encourage us to put our feet and
hands and resources where our prayers are. The flip side of this prayer
challenge is certainly the harder part - to earnestly and honestly repent of
the things in our lives that keep us from knowing and serving and worshiping
God more fully.]
Have a great week,
Pastor of Worship and Music
Chapel Hill Bible Church
Chapel Hill, North Carolina