There’s a song I love to sing that calls for God to glorify His name in all the earth.
Often song words as well as prayers are taken lightly. Sentiments are expressed without always knowing the implications of that request. I was reminded recently, however, of how my own views have changed over the years as I have been exposed to some of the implications of such requests.
My view of the world wasn’t really up to much in my years growing up. I knew about America because most of the programmes I enjoyed watching either came from America or were heavily influenced by the American tastes. My parents come from Jamaica so I was kind of aware of that, without being all that interested. We did French at school and some Spanish, but those were not really doorways to great interest in any of those places. As far as I was concerned, the world was the town in which I lived and perhaps areas of the country I lived in too.
Moving to university certainly played a big part in changing that. In as much as I lived in a multicultural town when I grew up, the diversity at university challenged my narrow perspectives on the world. When I finished university I got involved in a local evangelism project in London and that got me meeting people from different cultures who gave insights into a world far beyond my little views.
It was when I moved to Stoke-on-Trent, however, that my view of things was radically challenged. Not because of the city – which is not Britain’s greatest example of diversity. It was however, whilst living and engaging with people in prayer that prayer took on a global meaning. I wasn’t just praying that God would bless the city or the country – it was about the world. That couldn’t be glib prayers either, it was about being informed of the international institutions and organisations and then getting a bit more in-depth about different countries.
Seeking for God to be glorified in all the earth took on a larger significance as I considered what it would mean for Him to be glorified in war-torn areas as well as locations of apparent affluence but with people impoverished by the absence of the gospel. The role of the internet has been hugely helpful in the matter of getting a better understanding of some of these locations. All this, however, and an ongoing awareness of just how limited my cultural perspective is in the wider mission of God’s name being spread around the world makes me truly appreciative of those who cross cultures, borders and perspectives to reach people with the love of God and the great news of His Son and His Kingdom.
I am not sure if I will get the chance to do anything like that myself physically, but it’s something to know that my prayers even in my local position can take on a global view.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden