In Matthew 15:32-39, Jesus gives two powerful lessons to His disciples. Interestingly, in the middle of a large crowd (the multitude in verse 31) Jesus specifically called His disciples to Himself. It was a deliberate challenge and growth point for them and for us.
Firstly, Jesus said: "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me for three days and have nothing to eat." Jesus looked at the crowd and He had compassion on them. As we use this prayer material, that is the first challenge we face. As you read through the six previous sections, ask the Lord to give you "compassion" for one or more of the situations covered there.
There is quite a list - disenfranchised people; the Tibetan people; graduates without jobs and more generally disillusioned young people; orphans; workers serving the Lord in China; the AM-CCSM literature work and the needs of China's often untaught church; ASM and its students. That and more - there is a lot to choose from!
What actually does compassion mean? Strongs says: "To be moved with deep compassion or pity. The Greeks regarded the bowels (‘splanchna') as the place where strong and powerful emotions originated. The Hebrews regarded ‘splanchna' as the place where tender mercies and feelings of affection, compassion, sympathy and pity originated. It is the direct motive for at least five of Jesus' miracles." Compassion is a pretty earthy word depicting deep, deep emotion - and action!
Secondly, Jesus therefore calls His disciples to be involved in the answer. We need to see that our response to the challenge of compassion is not the same as that of the disciples in Matthew 15: "Where could we get enough bread...?" (verse 33). There are several ways we can deflect the challenge of what we read about in the first six sections. We can offer an automatic prayer that does not involve heart and spirit engagement; we can tell the Lord that it is His problem not ours; we can have a quick one-off emotional experience and then move on to something less taxing.
May I therefore ask you to take time to read through the six sections and their prayer topics again, and not just to pray for them and forget, but to embrace with real compassion one or two or more of the issues and people raised. A practical way of doing that is to carry at least one of them through the day - looking to the Lord from time to time through the day in prayer for the people concerned. Not simple repetition of the same words, but with the intensity of the widow before the unjust judge in Luke 18.
Ask the Lord to help you know which topic He wants you to focus on.
Spend a few minutes bringing that focus before the Lord, asking Him to give you His eyes to see this problem or situation as He sees it, and thus move you to be burdened to pray for it.
Ask the Lord to help you and others using this prayer letter to grow in prayer and intercession.