Reformed Articles

How Remembering “Then” Changes Our Prayers for “Now”

When we have an urgent need, that need tends to give us tunnel vision. It’s all we can think about; it’s the constant background to everything; it’s the shadow that looms very large in our minds, much less our prayers. We can find ourselves, then, praying with anxiety over the urgent need and the daily now. And that’s why remembering “then” can shape our prayers for “now.”


Most of the time when we pray, we are focused on the “now.” And never has that been more true than “now.” Now is when the world is hunkering down. Now is when there is uncertainty. Now is when business owners are in trouble. Now, now, now. So we pray, and it makes sense for us to do so.

It also makes sense from God’s perspective. Jesus told us that we should pray for the “right now.” He taught us specifically to pray for our daily bread (Matt. 6:11), while in the same sermon telling us to not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has enough worries of its own (Matt. 6:34). So it’s not wrong that our prayers should be tinged with immediacy. With a sense of urgency.

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