Last week I went to the funeral of a wonderful godly lady called Grace. She was born in the 1920s and spent many years of her life serving the Lord in the Middle East.
In the late 1950s, Grace committed to praying daily for 10 people she knew to serve Jesus cross-culturally – one only a baby. In the early 1980s, that baby, now grown up, became the tenth of the group to commit to a life of cross-cultural mission. That baby was my dad – and Grace, my great aunt.
She was called home on the 27th August after a lifetime of serving the Lord, not least through her prayers. She persevered in prayer throughout her life, with a particular heart for God’s mission to the world. I’ve no doubt that my own interest in mission in the UK and overseas is in part due to her prayers.
Who could you pray for like that? Or could you also be the answer to someone else’s prayer?
“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:38)
O God of Grace,
You have imputed my sin to my substitute, and have imputed his righteousness to my soul, clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe, decking me with jewels of holiness. But in my Christian walk I am still in rags; my best prayers are stained with sin; my penitential tears are so much impurity; my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin; my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.
I need to repent of my repentance; I need my tears to be washed; I have no robe to bring to cover my sins, no loom to weave my own righteousness; I am always standing clothed in filthy garments, and by grace am always receiving change of raiment, for you always justify the ungodly; I am always going into the far country, and always returning home as a prodigal, always saying, “Father, forgive me,” and you are always bringing forth the best robe.
Every morning let me wear it, every evening return in it, go out to the day’s work in it, be married in it, be wound in death in it, stand before the great white throne in it, enter heaven in it shining as the sun.
Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, the exceeding wonder of grace.
— "Continual Repentance", from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, p136-7.