In prayer we put aside for a moment the swirl of concerns from our own lives, which tends to consume all our attention, and instead we seek that God would pour out his blessing on a distant people - some people we might never have cause to think of otherwise. And, over time, as we follow the work, its ups and downs, and keep praying that God would do mighty things, something happens in our hearts. We find we feel pain over news of believers suffering persecution, of church leaders wandering from the right path, of apathy and indifference to matters of spiritual life and death. We get angry at corruption and injustice. We thrill to hear of breakthroughs, even if it is just one person who finally lets go of their pride and admits that they, too, need a saviour. These are God-emotions. We are seeing the world more like God does, reacting the way He does to what He sees.
And as we pray for more and more people, we find that those people from far-off lands don't seem so strange anymore. Though we have never seen them, we find our hearts accustomed to seeking God's blessing on them. And, having been following them over time, we have learned something of their ways and culture. We discover, after all, they aren't that much different from us: they are people who need Jesus, just like we do. Even more, by bringing so many others, day after day, into the presence of God, seeking that God would bring them closer to Himself, we see more and more that God is a very great God indeed, intimately mindful of every single person born into this world. Now there's a thought to overwhelm the mind and expand one's soul.