How to Bring Names to God

We once had a pastor who, after having open heart surgery, often told the congregation that if the doctor had looked, he would have seen our names on his heart. Paul wrote similar words to the Philippians, "I have you in my heart" (1:7). When God asked Aaron to bring the names of the twelve tribes to him (representative of our bringing names to Him in prayer), it's interesting that he told him to bear the names two places.

First, the priest was to bear their names on his shoulders. (Exodus 28:12) The shoulders represent the place for carrying burdens. This indicated that Aaron was to feel responsible for the twelve tribes. God is looking for those who are willing to sense a responsibility for others' souls.

When Queen Esther heard of the threat to her people, her life was not really the one in jeopardy. She could have said, "My life is not on the line. I'm not going to get involved." Instead, she said, "How can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?" (Esther 8:6).

Esther could not endure the thought of her people perishing. God delights to do business with people who say, "I can't stand to think of that person failing spiritually. I'll do what I can to prevent it."

Second, Aaron was to wear the names of the twelve tribes on the breastplate which was over his heart. (Exodus 28:29) The heart represents the seat of our affections and symbolizes the love and personal interest the Lord requires to exist between us and the people for whom we intercede.

Jesus is not willing that any should perish. (2 Peter 3:9) Are there those for whom He has given us that concern?

Dear Jesus, help me to love others deeply so I will pray fervently.

"I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:8).