Posted by: glorifyhim1 | November 27, 2011

Just Another Name

Many of you are probably familiar with missionary prayer lists or calendars that encourage people to pray for missionaries on their birthdays. I have used a couple of these from time to time during my devotional times and have always struggled with how to pray for the missionaries listed. Sometimes the entire names are not even published because of their need for security. However, I knew that even though I may not know these missionaries or their personal needs, our Father in heaven knows each one intimately and well. All I needed to do was lift up each name to our Heavenly Father and He would take care of the rest. While true, however, I’m afraid that I often lagged in my faithfulness to lift up each and every name on the two missionary calendars I followed – each name was just another name.

This past Saturday, however, I gazed over the list of names and let my eyes rest on one, the name that I already knew was there – “Blake Hart, Chile (FP)”! This was not just another name. This was my son! And I knew how to pray for him. I knew he and my daughter-in-law, Bekah, were planning a Thanksgiving dinner and inviting some new Chilean friends to join them. I knew that they were still trying to get settled into their new home and that they needed to get their car inspected and registered before they could get it on the road. I knew they were learning to adjust to a new culture, new foods, and differences in the language. And I also knew that both of them had families at home that missed them much. So I knew how to pray!

And then I looked at the other missionary names listed on my two prayer lists. There were a total of 21 active missionaries and field personnel listed with a birthday on November 26. These missionaries serve in areas in the United States and around the world – from Europe and Southeast Asia to Africa and South America. I realized that they had needs just like my son and daughter-in-law, some perhaps with more pressing needs than others, and that they, too, were separated from families and loved ones. And even more, I knew that not one name listed was just another name to our Heavenly Father. The words of John 10:2-3 assure us that God knows each one of His children by name. “But He who enters by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep. To Him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear His voice; and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.”

None of us are just another name to God. As Timothy declares: “The Lord knows those who are His” (2 Timothy 2:19). Other Scriptures affirm the intimate knowledge that God has of all His children. He knows the secrets of our hearts (see Psalm 44:21). He understands our thoughts (see Psalm 139:2). He knows our ways (see Psalm 139:3). He knows those who place their trust in Him (see Nahum 1:7). He is fully aware of those things we need (see Matthew 6:8). God has a perfect knowledge of all of His children.

I admit that thinking about God’s knowledge of me humbles me. I think about how He knows me and yet loves me in spite of my failures and shortcomings. And then I think of what I know about Him, about all that He has done for me – even sending His own Son to die that I might have eternal life. What an amazing love! But how do I show my love for Him? Jesus said: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23).

Oh how I want Christ to be at home in my heart! When I am fully surrendered to Him, I can bring others before Him, even those missionaries that I know so little about, and relinquish them to Him knowing that He knows everything about them. He will hear me when I pray and His Word assures me that when I don’t know how to pray, “the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26). Thus as I pray for others, Christ allows me the joy of sharing in His work at home and around the world. What a privilege to lift up – not just another name – but a precious child whom God knows and loves!

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