The heart of God hungers to redeem the world. For that He gave His own, only Son though the treatment He received tore that father's heart to the bleeding. For that He sent the Holy Spirit to do in men what the Son had done for them. For that He placed in human hands the mightiest of all forces—prayer, that so we might become partners with Him.
For that too He set man in the relationships of kinship and friendship. He wins men through men. Man is the goal, and he is also the road to the goal. Man is the object aimed at. And he is the medium of approach, whether the advance be by God or by Satan. God will not enter a man's heart without his consent, and Satan cannot. God would reach men through men, and Satan must. And so God has set us in the strongest relation that binds men, the relation of love, that He may touch one through another. Kinship is a relation peculiar to man, and to the earth.
I have at times been asked by some earnest sensitive persons if it is not selfish to be especially concerned for one's own, over whom the heart yearns much, and the prayer offered is more tender and intense and more frequent. Well, if you do not pray for them who will? Who can pray for them with such believing persistent fervour as you! God has set us in the relationship of personal affection and of kinship for just such a purpose. He binds us together with the ties of love that we may be concerned for each other. If there be but one in a home in touch with God, that one becomes God's door into the whole family.
Contact means opportunity, and that in turn means responsibility. The closer the contact the greater the opportunity and the greater too the responsibility. Unselfishness does not mean to exclude one's self, and one's own. It means right proportions in our perspective. Humility is not whipping one's self. It is forgetting one's self in the thought of others. Yet even that may be carried to a bad extreme. Not only is it not selfish so to pray, it is a part of God's plan that we should so pray. I am most responsible for the one to whom I am most closely related.