July 19, 2011


Philippians 2:1-4

Value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but … to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:4


For several years some women in our congregation came to our building every Wednesday to pray. A couple of them often came early, stopping by to ask me a wonderful question: “What can we pray for on your behalf?”

That weekly ritual began because of a struggle. One of the women, who often disagreed with me on various points, was struggling with God. After a time she heard God calling her to pray for me. She wasn’t called to pray that God would change me. She told me she was called to pray for me without an agenda, simply out of love for me as her pastor.

Her visits over the following weeks and months bore that out—as did her work to gather others who would also pray for me. She looked beyond our disagreements and looked instead to my interests, my needs, my hopes and dreams, my wellbeing. Actually, she investigated those things every week, which is what our verse is pointing to: not just a quick look but a careful investigation into others’ needs—an investigation that arises out of Christ-imitating love.

I suppose that non-Christians are capable of such loving investigations. But only Christians can go the next step, as this woman did, and take to God whatever their investigations uncover.

Is regular prayer for others one way you look to the interests of others?

Thank you for expert investigators, Lord. Teach us all this skill. And lead us to take our findings to you. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — David Den Haan

Pastor Dave Den Haan has served at Fairway Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan, since 1999. Previously he served a church in Minnesota. Dave and his wife, Connie, have three children.

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