The Worship Quote of the Week for (06/05/2007):

Praying for Others and for Ourselves
Is it hard for you to pray fervently for your own needs? Perhaps it is an easier task to intercede for others before the throne of grace. Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE challenges our prayer and our obligation to serve others for the sake of Christ. The author is C. S. Lewis.

I too had noticed that our prayers for others flow more easily than those we offer on our own behalf. And it would be nice to accept your view that this just shows we are made to live by charity. I'm afraid, however, I detect two much less attractive reasons for the ease of my own intercessory prayers. One is that I am often, I believe, praying for others when I should be doing things for them. It’s so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see him. And the other is like unto it. Suppose I pray that you may be given grace to withstand your besetting sin (short list of candidates for this post will be forwarded on demand). Well, all the work has to be done by God and you. If I pray against my own besetting sin there will be work for me. One sometimes fights shy of admitting an act to be a sin for this very reason.

— C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), LETTERS TO MALCOLM: CHIEFLY ON PRAYER, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1964. Modern edition, Harvest Books, 2002. ISBN 978-0156027663

[This insight from Lewis shouldn’t discourage us from praying earnestly for others in their need; rather, it should encourage us to put our feet and hands and resources where our prayers are. The flip side of this prayer challenge is certainly the harder part—to earnestly and honestly repent of the things in our lives that keep us from knowing, serving, and worshiping God more fully.]

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view a complete
index of worship quotes, please visit