Jesus said the following:
20"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. - John 17:20-21
Wow! Jesus was not only praying for the disciples and the people he knew, but also for all of "those who WILL" believe. That includes me, 2000 years later! That makes Jesus' prayer list of infinite length ...
I cannot even imagine praying for future, as yet unknown people and needs. (Of course I lack omniscience).
I have trouble remembering to pray for my immediate family's current needs. A few months ago in Sunday School class a friend of mine said that she prays every night with her young children for their future health, schooling and spouse. This seemed strange to me at the time.
We consider ourselves lucky if we can get my two year old to sit still during prayer. When my four year old prays, she copies the "script" we have always used: "Thank you for Mommy, for Daddy, for me and for sister. In Jesus' name, amen." We are so tickled when she recites the script we have unintentionally taught her.
I am torn. I do feel convicted to add future needs and people to my prayer list. But, my current lack of discipline in my prayer life is such that praying for current needs seems to be an accomplishment in itself. Can I do more? Of course I can. But will I?
This post was inspired by the book "Jesus Online" by Charles Morgan, Jr.