William Gurnall (1616–1679) asked, “Is there none, O man, that needs the mercy of God besides thyself?” In contemporary language, is there no one else that you want to be saved besides yourself? God gives us permission for our love to begin at home. So pray for your family. After that, consider what is happening in your neighborhood. Then pray for your community. Go on to pray for your nation, but do not stop there. As Gurnall said,
Let thy prayers walk over the vast ocean…. Visit the churches of Christ abroad; yea, the poor Indians and other ruins of mankind that lie where Adam’s sin threw them with us, without any attempt made as yet upon them by the gospel for their recovery, and carry their deplored condition before the Lord. Our Drake is famous for compassing the earth with his ship in a few years; thou mayst by thy prayers every day, and make a more gainful voyage of it too than he did.1William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour (1662–1665; reprint, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2002), 2:524–25. Francis Drake (1540–1596) was an English sea captain who circled the earth 1577–1580.
Taking Hold of God
by Joel R. Beeke and Brian G. Najapfour